My Mom is in a cleaning out the house mode. It is generally unbeknownst to us until the boxes start to arrive on our doorstep.
Sometimes photos, sometimes memorabilia, sometimes junk that she has saved for fifty years, because she thought we might someday want it.
Even though our home doesn’t need one more single freaking thing added to it, not even a scrap of paper, I will admit to getting lost in what she sends.
Feelings, smells, memories, emotions, all if it comes back.
If you are new to me, here it is. A crazy, dysfunctional, but not out of the ordinary, actually pretty ordinary, 60’s family is where I come from. And by the way, just for reference, if you are younger than me, an ordinary 60’s family would be considered bat shit crazy by today’s standard. If you are older than me, you know what I mean.
I like to think of my youth as the days of character building. Lots and lots of character.
We were doing our thing as kids, we were the feral generation, that means Mom makes breakfast, and then kicks you out of the house for the day to do whatever it is you want to do, but don’t, DO NOT, be late for dinner. We had lots of animals, all of their names I remember, every secret I told them, every moment we shared, are still some of the best memories I have. Family adventures and misadventures were daily. Up’s and down’s, good and suck memories. But I believe this to be the cumulative affect of life.
These experiences as they stack up over time make us who we are. We change here and there, but those early years, while under the guidance, or lack thereof, of our parents, we are shaped. And I believe this is where the moral and ethical compass is formed. No matter what shit went down in our home, or how joyous things were, our animals were always treated with kindness, always. That was a constant, an unspoken law, it’s just how it was.
Sometimes we choose change, and sometimes it is chosen for us. And no matter what, even if we throw out an anchor, life continues.
You cannot be my age and not have experienced a great deal in life, that is just how it works. The one constant that has remained, is the kindness I feel in my heart towards animals and the natural world. That has never shifted.
So Mom, thanks for all the boxes, photos, junk, and otherwise. I’m not saying I need you to mail anymore my way, but it is just a reminder of a good life so far, crazy but good!
5 Comments Add yours
Very kind and gentle post, the soft moments and memories bubble up! Did you receive Grandma and Aunt Ida’s quilts that I mailed to you? If you don’t need or want them, Lisa would appreciate you passing them down to her.
the kids have them and love them …
Thanks for sharing, Nancy. I love looking at all of the old photos but it is time to let them go.
The feral generation – love that tag for my generation! Left wild to run for the day but you’re right being late for supper was not allowed! My cousin and I were given a boat with oars, a Labrador dog that could fetch (presumably us if we fell in as we didn’t have life jackets), a bear rattle and then left to roam the lakes and river around us at the age of 6 – freedom until supper! Best memories ever!
I’m doing the same thing as your Mom. I just HAVE to get rid of the stuff before I die. This way I make sure those who want the ‘stuff’ get the ‘stuff’