Monday, January 21, 2019

About stuff

I was thinking this morning about stuff.

You know, the kinds of things we all accumulate over time. Family heirlooms we want to preserve, special trinkets we collected over our years, the pictures, videos, mementos and sheer junk that we find scattered around our homes.

I love my stuff.

What I see when I walk into my home makes me smile. I often say, "Hello, house. I love living here." Silly, isn't it?

But I recently got to wondering about stuff for a reason... so many people I once valued in my life also had stuff they cherished.

They went out the doors of their homes, often without a backward glance, to go somewhere... a doctor's appointment, a shopping trip, a vacation... anywhere... and never came back.

Their houses sat empty of their presence, but filled with the things they cherished. Quiet, abandoned and bereft.

Oh I know things don't have feelings. The beautiful crystal that my friend Doris left me doesn't carry any of her personality.

The china that was my mother's is mine now, not telling the story of how happy she was when she first brought it home.

But all those things, and so many more, make my home a place I prize, and one day I won't come home to it again.

My aunt Jean, whose house held stories in every antique in every room, whose view of the Mullica was mesmerizing and treasured, went to visit her doctor, had a massive stroke in his office and died the next day. Those of us who spent hours in her company had made our admiration for her stuff openly known... an antique ice box had my name on it, she told me often. I have no idea what became of all the stuff Jean cherished, where all the stories went when she failed to return to embrace them.

Change can happen in an instant.

It can alter the way things continue on in the next.

I still love coming home to my stuff, greeting my house aloud or silently, depending on who's with me.

Because I know that stuff will belong to someone else one day, I hope in the distant future, and I want it to remember the one who loved it.

Silly, isn't it?