out of sight…out of mind

I thought we had purged…..a LOT!   And then there was that time…..I opened the drawers and dug in the closets and went into the attic to pack for our move.  Out of sight and out of mind….I had SO forgotten.

I have previously confessed to being  confirmed hoarder….of memories, neatly labeled and categorized.  Seriously, they are very neat but……OH MY GOODNESS!   I already wrote something like this previously but there is MORE!!   Who knew?!?!?   I apparently have saved every letter, every card, every thank you note, every invitation, every picture, every announcement, every calendar filled with the routine of our daily lives (since 1977!), every ticket stub, every brochure, and every program.  And then for my own kids, in addition to the 19 scrapbooks I created for EACH of them, and a box of their most precious writing pieces, and years of bound birthday letters, and their letter jackets, trophies, ribbons, medals, and graduation gowns ….those were a given….  I’ve also saved all their childhood toys and books (for the grandchildren!) , every piece of artwork from Pre-K on, their cub scout uniforms, every Halloween costume, every project, every heat sheet from every swim meet, (I have them from my childhood too) every t-shirt from swimming, running and soccer events, and I just boxed up their growing-up bedrooms during out last move complete with the memorabilia they had acquired.  I am SO not kidding.   Any movie producers out there could have done a documentary on any one of the Stevens’ family and been pretty darn detailed in the telling.  We could have built a museum about our family!!!!  Do normal people do this?!  Okay, so don’t answer that!

It was a slow burn….the accumulation.  I hardly noticed how much we had saved.  Now, I must let it all go.  It’s funny really, because I didn’t even remember that I had this stuff and haven’t looked at it in years, so it should be easy, right?    But……it’s not.  It. is. gut. wrenching!!!   The upside to this is that I have relived each of these memories and shed oceans of tears  in the happy thankfulness for these gifts…. of time and life for which we have been so richly blessed.  But, there were also the bittersweet tears in the knowledge that it went SO fast and those seasons are over.  Mothers of Littles….I’m telling ya….it happens in a blink!!!  Trust me on this.  Cherish!!!!

So now most of the above mentioned stuff is resting in a shallow recycle grave yard in the great unknown and random people are proudly wearing their newly acquired vintage sports t-shirts.   One of the most difficult was our sons’ precious artwork that they put so much effort into creating.   I can visualize their little thoughts and their little hands hard at work.  ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!  I had to let it all go.  We are much lighter in stuff, but heavier in emotions.  Steve didn’t quite understand until I made him join me in my time machine.  He totally gets it now.

So what is your takeaway dear reader?  Find a way to preserve your memories along your journey, without the stuff.  I don’t know really how you do it, but try.  If you figure this out, pass along to others for it will be a treasure.

Now that all of that is really out of sight….I don’t want to ever let it out of mind again.

   “Preserve your memories, keep them well, what you forget, you can never retell”             ~     Louisa May Alcott

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7 Responses to out of sight…out of mind

  1. Lenne' Espenschied says:

    Dear one, the only thing I can say is that I relate to your sentiments. I spent several weeks “KonMari-ing” my home this year, and it’s an emotional process! It does feel good to be lighter but it was heart-wrenching to let go of so many precious momentos and despite my best efforts I’ve probably still kept too much. I feel ya on this! We can cling to each other as we go! xo


  2. Ironically, Pam, I just read this post about decluttering/cleaning out at my friend, Deb’s page: https://countingmyblessings.com/ I think you might find it heartening and reassuring as you let go of all the “stuff.” Oh, but don’t let those sweet memories elude your mind!


  3. Linda Taylor says:

    Memories will always be with you….hang in there!


  4. Gail branan says:

    Oh Pammy I soooo feel ya on this !! I am at Karlys . I came to see Garrison graduate from elementary school . Yes, my oldest grand is a middle schooler .i I am guilty of saving too much from my girls childhood and beyond . Sure, they loved some of it but certainly didn’t want it all . The other night, I found myself saving two programs from Garrisons grad program .Just in case Karly needed another one. Whoa Gail ! I startled myself realizing I was a second generation memory collector and I had to stop. My daughters will save what THEY want to from THEIR children’s childhoods and beyond without my help ! I am seriously going to go through hoarding withdrawal!
    Love you and your writing . Gailzie


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