Throwing AwayPosted: April 16, 2010
The hardest thing to throw away was the box of electrical stuff. All the components that one would use to install outlets — the receptacles, the boxes, indoor electrical wiring — other things I don’t even know the names of. What would I ever do with them? And I certainly don’t want my sons messing around with those things…
Those things that were part of my life with an electrical engineer. He installed outlets in the garage or anywhere in the house he thought we needed one. I think he just wanted to do it because he could. It fascinated me. His engineering mind fascinated me. I wasn’t ready for that life to be over. It was taken from me.
My garage is still filled with boxes and tools and supplies that belonged to him. I still do not know how to throw away one’s life. But yesterday I made another attempt. I pulled out box after box, opened each one, studied the contents, and with each drop into the trash can, I’d say, I’m sorry Charlie.
The odd thing, I didn’t feel as bad about it as I did the last time. Three weeks ago when I went through this same process, I cried, with tears dripping all over my face and wetting my shirt. How do you throw away someone’s life. I feel as though I am throwing that person away. But that person is already gone. Can I make him last longer if I don’t throw away his stuff? It hasn’t been used in 21 months. It has to be done.
And so I pioneer yet another phase in my life. That of throwing away all the things that meant so much to someone who kept everything he ever had in case he might need it. Someone whose life I cared about. Someone whose things I respect.
And I remember times that I’d stand in the garage with him in years past and say just sort of teasing, You know if anything ever happens to you I’m going to throw all this stuff away.
And I can’t remember his answer. I think he’d just look at me for a moment and say he wouldn’t need it anymore then. Why can’t I remember what he said? Maybe it would help me now.