On occasion I write more along the lines of poetic journaling then as an informational blog post. Below is one of my experiences in downsizing our home and the emotional balancing act of choosing what to keep and why.
The large 16×20 photo looks like something out of a 1970’s Home and Gardens magazine. Each child posed perfectly by the unseen photographer. Her in a pale-yellow dress, long hair down her back and a large matching bow atop her head.
His dark hair a contrast to everything light about her. His eyes ebony and his smile a little unsure. These two children loved each other deeply already. Him just 10 months and her almost 5 they had been together for all but the first 4 days of his life.
“How would you like to get a brother today?” the lady on the other end of the phone asked. I’ll never forget that call. So much hope. So many adventures. Such unforeseen heartache.
The photo had been in the garage atop a pile of other things for two weeks. What to do with a photo like that?
Keep it? For what? Who else would want it? No one. Throw it away? Oh Lord, what would our mother say?
I saw it each time I came home from work and each morning as I left. It made my heart hurt a little every time. What am I supposed to do with that big, outdated photo of two kids who haven’t spoken in years?
“You are no longer those children” my heart realized one afternoon. “And that is why you ache at the thought of throwing it away”.
How nice it would be to be those two kids again, loving each other. Playing together. Each liking who the other was.
But that time is past now. And while the memory is sweet, the photo is faded and the two children portrayed no longer exist.
The ache remains after having thrown the photo away. But it had never really been about the picture. It was always about the loss of each to the other and the shattered dreams of the people they had hoped they would be.