Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Kinds of Things I Keep

I'm pretty sure we still have that toddler hat that E is wearing in this picture. It's not something we've kept on purpose as much as it keeps escaping my child wardrobe culling by not being where we normally keep hats. But some things escape because of the memories I associate with them. I've squirreled away more clothing items than I'd like to admit to Marie Kondo. But she's not coming to my house, and I'll admit it to you.

I keep things that mean something to me. I keep clothes that may never be worn again. I have the shirt I was wearing when I met both of my children, which is now too threadbare to wear again, as well as the one that I wore when a judge declared I was their mother, which I still put on from time to time. I have clothes that each of my children wore when they were small, and I have some things that both of them wore, which no longer will fit either one of them. These clothes jog my memory, and they bring back the feelings I felt when they were being worn. They are precious to me.

This week I have been working on sorting through the photos on my computer, getting rid of the ones we really don't need in anticipation of transferring everything to a new machine. I had to pause when I found photos of medical procedures. For example, one of my children had a medical procedure for which a nurse came and did a dressing change every few days, and I was to take a photo of the wound to send to the doctor so he could see the changes. I've got photos that show medical equipment in use. It seems in some ways unnecessary to keep these, but I found I couldn't delete them. These photos tell the story of our lives just as much as the other ones do. So I'm keeping them.

This is what it boils down to, really, that I am telling a story. I am using these things, whether they be photos or clothes or other objects, to remember all the important parts of the story. So much happened in so little time that all four of us have forgotten parts of it. I know that many people would think I am foolish for the things I keep. That's okay. Let them think I'm a fool. There's a story that needs to be told, and with these things, I can keep telling it.

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