The Friend and Enemy of Time
Last week, while visiting Mom and Dad, I helped clean out their attic. There are memories and stories attached to many of the items we sorted through. As we decided what would be donated to Salvation Army, I was at first sad about taking their things and giving them away to people who will never understand their significance. Then I was reminded they are just things. None of us will be able to take them with us, so why not give them to people who can use them?
The things I chose to hang on to were items that are truly keepsakes such as my baby shoe (yes, one), my hair brush with a little girl soldier on it, and pictures. You can keep stuff for a lifetime, but the fact is the memories you treasure are far more… Click To TweetYou can keep stuff for a lifetime, but the fact is the memories you treasure are far more priceless than the items themselves. Yes, you may have things of worth, but nothing can replace the people and events they bring to mind.
It was pouring buckets the day we decided to tackle this task, but it didn’t dampen our enthusiasm to get a job done that both of my parents were dreading. I am thankful Mom and Dad were able to go through everything with me, and they decided what to get rid of, what they wanted to keep for a little while longer and what to give away. It truly was a gift to be able to do this task with them, rather than if God had taken them home and I was left alone rummaging through the bins and boxes.
My parents purchased their home on a land contract over fifty years ago, and paid fifty dollars a month until it was paid in full. I think about that young couple with two small children and the struggle they had to make sure the payment was made each month. The house has been renovated through the years, with my mom adding her special touches to make it their home. My father still mows three acres, and their manicured lawn catches the eye of many. Their home is beautiful, and in my fifty-four years of first living in that house and then visiting as an adult, I have never seen anything out of place inside or out.
Today, as I sift through boxes and bins at my house, my eyes are welling up with tears because I am once again reminded of conversations full of love and laughter as I find new homes for my keepsakes. I am also reminded of the sense of relief my mom and dad feel just to have that job done.
I’ve often thought about how I will feel when that house is no longer my parents’ home. I know I will be sad, not because of not having the house, but because of not having my parents. My childhood home is only my home because of the two special people who live there. There are memories of life in that house steeped deep in my heart, but nothing about the house itself makes it a home. The people who live inside it make it a home.
Time can be a friend or an enemy. Our enemy Time has stolen precious moments because of conflict, pride, selfishness and just being too busy. When we realize how many moments we have missed, we wish we could have them back. We may think we have all the time in the world with our parents, but I have learned that every day is a gift.
Our friend Time has allowed us all to heal in ways I thought were impossible. Through the years we have all changed and grown in knowledge and wisdom, in our faith, and more in love with each other. We’ve forgiven the hurts we caused each other and the harsh words spoken in anger. We have learned to accept life isn’t perfect, and none of us are perfect either.
My parents have not always agreed with every decision I’ve made or word I have spoken, but they have never quit communicating with me. Silence can be a killer to both parties in a relationship. Sometimes we have to deal with what is in our attic and get rid of the useless things which are taking up valuable space in our hearts.
What is in your attic? What are you storing in your heart that isn’t of value? What are the memories you treasure? What do you consider priceless? What are you leaving behind?
Cleaning out the attic was very therapeutic for all of us. It wasn’t a fun job, but there were fun moments as we looked through the boxes, bins, and totes and were reminded of events from the past. Things can be boxed up and stored away, but eventually, you have to deal with it all. I know I am blessed because I still have my parents when many do not. I can’t begin to imagine what life would be like without them here, but I do know the memories I have in my heart are far more precious than any of the stuff they could leave behind.