Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things. ~Pierce Harris, Atlanta Journal
Going through a home that has been lived in almost 28 years and contains memorabilia of a lifetime has become almost overwhelming. I have discovered many "pebbles" that have been picked up and stored away over the years. The dilemma is what memory to keep with a physical representation and what memories can survive simply in the heart. There just won't be room as I downsize to keep all memorabilia that has been collected.
There have been so many vacations, so many milestones, so many life events. Which ones are most important to memorialize with things, or are the things attached to the memory just clutter. What to do with that special quilt, the shelves of photos, the slides, the postcards and letters, a grandfathers rocking chair...the list seems endless and every drawer opened reveals more. Some memory items go back generations. But the sorting must be done and the decisions must be made....keep this; dispose of that.
I keep trying to tell myself I am not dismantling a life, but preparing for a continuation into a new phase of the life and there needs to be room for new memories: That this sorting and disposing of things from the past doesn't destroy or denigrate the past. I tell myself memories are more than "pebbles" picked up along life's path. They are things stored in the heart and the heart has an endless amount of space for them.
Oscar Wilde shares a thought on memories in The Importance of Being Earnest--
Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us.
I can do this. Its not quick and its not easy, but I can do this. I pray I make wise decisions on what to keep in form of a memory item and what to keep in my heart unattached to a thing. More impotantly I hope I don't accidentally dispose of someone else's memory.