the memory store

despite wonderful Wales doing its very best to keep us there on Monday, we have actually been back in our home town for three days.  We need to sort the car, and buy a new wheel, as the Welsh stone that blocked our path has damaged it beyond repair.  That will be done as soon as possible we need our car at the moment.  I remain in awe of the traffic officers who made a scary situation calm and sorted us out in quick time.

So back in this house now the packing starts, decisions to be made, what do we need, what do we want and what can we get rid of? It is not an easy task, but when we shall be paying to store items it makes us really think about what is important. There are boxes here that have not been unpacked since we moved three years ago.  A couple have precious items, baby bits and sentimental treasures from childhood.  I suspect they will be coming with us and not into store.

It has made me think about why certain items are treasures and others not so much.  My children have bought me many gifts over the years, pocket money presents at first then, as they have grown much more.  I have an ornament bought in a discount store about fifteen years ago that I just can’t part with, and yet I am able to dispense with other items really easily.  I have never been a hoarder, my mantra being, if we haven’t touched it in months, and we don’t love it then it out goes, has ensured that the house is easy to pack,

I suppose there is something about how memory works, about how we feel about people and places, and it is that which informs our decisions about what is materially important.  I am happy to give away clothes, furniture and household items, except for Mum’s old tablespoon, it has sat in my kitchen for over thirty years, and used daily.  I have no need for wedding day shoes or expensive handbags, but I shall be packing my late Uncles Panama hat for sure.

Condensing a life into storage in just two weeks is going to be interesting, a way of saying goodbye physically to this life we have loved, and to move forward embracing the new. I am crying less now, probably not at all today, there is too much to be done to have time for emotions.

I spent some time this week with a very dear friend who is facing more loss than we are, the expected loss of someone they love is so very hard to deal with.  This friend is keen to do the right thing, to make sure that they give their loved one everything at the end of life. They are feeling the weight of such decisions and struggling to find the words and the actions that will make this, the worst of situations, easier for all to bear.

We shared experiences and a few tears, held hands across a table and hoped for the best for both of us. As I left I once again was thankful for these people I have by my side.  You see, it isn’t what you have in this world that matters. It really isn’t about stuff, everything we own can be stored or nothing kept, in the end it won’t matter at all. In the end it is those we love, and those we allow to love us that matter.  It is the bonds of friendship, which come from sometimes unexpected places, that will stay in the memory of shared experiences. In the end that is all there is.



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