I am slowly, hesitantly, downsizing. I’ve got a house full of furniture, decorations, plants, clothes, and boxes of miscellany. Some of the boxes contain important things like tax returns, some contain wires, cables, and remote controls for gadgetry that is long gone, and some contain my memories.
Having been a mom for over thirty years, the memories are many. They include old calendars, children’s drawings, stories, report cards, and so on. These may not be the kinds of things that non-moms might save, or even that dads might save. They somehow help me feel good about having been a mom, even though I wasn’t always good at it.
I like the way that having these boxes of memories makes me feel, even if I never look into them. Just knowing they are in my basement links me to my children as they were then. If I were to jettison the boxes of memories, I’m fearful that the link will be gone.
Memory is a tricky thing. Actually, these days it’s a pain in the ass because it never seems to function when I want it to. Recently, someone asked me to name some songs I had talked about only a day before, and my mind went blank. The deer-in-the-headlights kind of blank. It’s as though my brain was suddenly occupied by a new person who knew nothing of my past.
So, in place of an actual, useful, functioning memory I have my boxes of miscellany. They are labelled “Memorabilia” but they are mostly about my children, so they are effectively momerabilia, and if I throw them out I’m afraid I’ll have no memory at all.