Life Cleaning

When someone Leaves for the Great Beyond, those remaining must begin, at some point, to pick up the pieces.Of everything:Shards of broken heart.Bits of memories that randomly flutter in like leaves.Tears that fall intermittently like Southern California rain.And then there is the cleaning, the removal of papers, clothes, and various bric-a-brac that no longer fit the remains of the life Left. I’ve been making my way through our house — it will always be our house — and the space that requires the greatest elbow grease is the garage. So the story goes, this was the model home for the neighborhood 30 or so years ago when the track was first built. The garage is simply another room because it has heating and air ducts. My Christopher and I used it for all sorts of things, but primarily it was junk storage.When we first met, we combined three houses into one: Christopher’s, Christopher’s parents’, and mine. We lived in one house for a while and then moved to another, where we stayed for a few years. The move to California was an adventure and some parts of those three houses were given away, thrown away, and lost. However, much of what remained went into the garage of the first house we leased when we moved here and was subsequently relocated to this garage in 2009.Now, I take a few hours here or there and go through the piles and boxes. I’ve found some treasures (at least they are treasures to me), funny memories, books, and photos that make my heart do flips and dips. I look into Christopher’s face from different times over the years, waiting for him to move. I place those newspaper clippings and pictures into a separate pile.It’s becoming easier to look at them.I wipe them across my T-shirt and put them in a special pile that comes in the house. Each batch of life cleaning yields more gems like that.I would love to find my Christopher, taking a little nap in one of these dusty boxes.In a way, I suppose I do, each time I find another photo …

2 thoughts on “Life Cleaning

  1. I’m so glad it’s getting a little easier for you to go through things, Andree,` and pray it will be even easier this time next week. My parents were never big on taking photos. I have one photo of Mum, Dad and I together along with my half-brother’s wife and children and her parents. I have two photos of my Dad and three photos of my Mum. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles may as well not have existed – there are no photos. I hope you find heaps and heaps of happy memories in the boxes xx

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