Sorting Through the Stuff
I couldn’t believe how different her yard looked. Granny loved plants and let them grow large, often taking over whole sections of her property. The view from the back porch seemed clean as I gazed across the newly cleared area. She and Papa really had a beautiful piece of land.
We walked through several of the outbuildings, identifying anything we wanted to relocate to our home and circled back to the house. My parents and dad’s siblings have been going through the house for months—checking coat pockets, corners, drawers, and hidden crevices. They have found so many hidden surprises, both good and bad.
I’ll admit, walking through Granny’s house, probably for the last time, was emotional. While my parents have been going weekly, this was my first time since the funeral. Seeing all her knickknacky treasures in boxes instead of on shelves seemed strange. And knowing that most of her important stuff seemed like junk to everyone else was a hard reality to process.
Dad told me to look in certain areas and take anything I wanted. The first item I reached for was a tabletop game Uncle Jerry made for Papa. I put countless hours into beating that game every time I visited. Next, I saw the dice. They don’t match and have years of wear, but they were a mainstay at every meal. High Rollers or Yahtzee, and Granny always won. Next, I reached for a set of coasters. I don’t know how many times I slid those coasters in and out of their box as a kid, just to play with them.
I didn’t care about all the knickknacks that sat on the shelves; it was the everyday stuff which reminded me of my grandparents that caught my attention. Small pieces with big memories attached. Nothing else much mattered.
As we are in the final three months of our house-build, the thought of sorting through all our own stuff is overwhelming. We. Have. So. Much. Stuff. And we have only been married eighteen years. I can’t imagine what kind of junk we will have accumulated over a lifetime.
But in the end, my grandparents took nothing with them. And neither will we. One day, my kids and grandkids will sort through my pile of knickknacks. My only hope is that they gravitate toward certain items because there are fond memories of wonderful times spent together. I want them to remember my heart, embrace the legacy of faith, and strive to become better people.
Oh, may the “stuff” we leave behind truly impact the lives of others.