I reserve the largest storage unit I find in a ten-mile radius; when signing the six-page lease for this space, I have no idea that this space would somehow hold the residues of most of my adult life.
When I padlock the climate-controlled space and walk away, I feel perplexed.
I am leaving so many of my memories in this 10’x 20’ space!
The bedroom set that I picked out of a show-case window in New Orleans and had to wait two years to afford; Shania’s new twin bed, that she personally picked out a few months ago.
The bicycle that Daiyaan learned to bike with, and my own bike that has carried Shania and Daiyaan on a child safety seat over 15 years!
As if, by leaving this continuum of my life, I have neatly packed and locked away portions of myself!
Kevin, a heavy-set, stubbled, mid 50 ish mover, laughs when he sees my little stuff – he calls them “critters”; “if you don’t use this stuff in the next six or seven months, you will lose track and never use them again; when you feel like starting up again, you will want to start fresh – this stuff has too many memories”, he tells me philosophically.
I know what he says is most likely true; but it’s too difficult to put away the black Afghan that adorned two beautiful dining areas – and hundreds of friends and family enjoyed meals with!
I don’t know why I keep the $25 coffee maker, with which I dutifully made “deshi” style milky-sweet tea, every time there was a big gathering at our family home. I doubt I will ever again make tea for 20-30 people.
After giving away three trucks of stuff to charity over the last two weeks, still memories of good times linger on me – like the smell of incense, when you leave the potpourri store.
The storage company asks me for two alternate contacts – in case they can’t get hold of me; I put down the name of my seventeen-year old daughter whose childhood memories are also in that 10X20 space. Somehow, I just cannot imagine giving her that responsibility to sort this stuff out one day – “in case they can’t get hold of me”.
I have always believed that life’s all about creating good memories; Like anyone else, my life has conjured up sets of dramatic moments – high pitched laughter filled with friends and family and sad, long-on-tears, tragedy.
Also, I have been fortunate, to have built memories in six continents – in exotic locales and not so “illuminating” places. But wherever I went, in rain or shine, there was a good time – because there was my family there to share that moment with.
Sometimes these memory droplets show up in a dream; or, on a cloudy day they become part of our colorful perspective of life that we share with someone else, “I remember a few years ago, when, this wonderful thing happened…… “
As if these memorabilia connect, like a long tunnel, the moment we just left and the bright moment we are racing towards.
One can neatly pack away memorabilia, and put them in climate-controlled storage and not remember that they are there; but the memories of those good times, specially, with loved ones, are hard to lock away in neat boxes and walk away from.
I look forward to go searching for some of my memories in my residual 10X20 space.