Friday, August 7, 2015

In which my minimalism causes confusion

Now that my grandfather has passed away and my grandmother is in assisted living, the monumental task of cleaning out their house to get it ready for sale is upon us.

Well, upon my mother and her siblings, really, at least for the time being. Mom's already said the project is beyond them and they'll need "the next generation" soon. Which is cool. I'm more than happy to help.

Anyway, they've been going through my grandparents' basement and unearthing all manner of thing, all of which has to be claimed, donated, recycled or trashed.

I keep getting texts from my mother (hi Mom!) asking if I want this or that, and I generally say no. Because you know what I want? My grandfather. I don't care about this stuff at all.

But my noes seem to just encourage the Aunts to try harder to find me something. (Mom understands, and that is a gift. Thank you, Mommy!) Well, maybe they'll feel better since I said yes to this tiny pitcher yesterday:

Come on! It's got boats on it! I wish you
could see them better. It makes me laugh.

Pitcher aside, the last thing I said no to was a clock that my Grandma Morrissette brought Grandma Graham back from a trip to Germany. (Fun fact: I am half German, thanks to my grandmothers, even though none of my names indicate that.) Apparently Grammie carried it on her lap the entire return trip so it wouldn't get damaged, and the Aunts think that memory alone should make me want it.

But again, you know what I want? My Grammie M. And that clock is not my grandma.

It's kind of hard to explain ... although maybe it isn't: Stuff isn't the person I'm missing. Stuff is just stuff. I have my memories, and yes, I have a few mementos from those whom I've lost. But I don't need their things to remind me of them. They're always with me. Seeing a clock, or whatever ... it's meaningless, really. It's just a thing.

Maybe you're thinking I should be taking this stuff for my girls, for when they're older. And yes, I could. Except I would just be saddling them with emotional baggage. They have their own memories of my grandparents. They don't need stuff to remind them that my Grandma -- and my Grandpa, for that matter -- loved them.

And neither do I.

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