Much to my dismay, most of my children don't want what I have saved; school papers, writing, art, stories, poetry. I have begun to throw them away. When DJ was here visiting from California, he didn't even want the plate with his name on it. I must reassess.
I gave to Goodwill all of Johnny's soccer jerseys. They are very nice and will be a real find for the right person. I saved all the patches earned from the soccer games. Many were long road trips we took together. Why am I saving them? In some ways I feel I earned them as much as he did.
"Photos," DJ said, "all I want are photos."
That's good information. Since my Swedish death cleansing has begun, if the kids don't want these mementos, I must let go. Each item, from this moment on, can be touched only one more time, then ripped from my heart and placed in the box of giveaways.
"Tell the story that goes with them," my daughter, Dana, said.
Yes! That is my next assignment.
This bowl and dish are very old. They came from the small frame house where my mother, your grandmother, grew up in Whiteflat, Texas. Your great uncle W.R. Tilson, an early settler, named the town. When he stood on a ridge and looked out over the land full of prairie grass he said it looked white, flat. These are the photos of family gathered around the dinner table in that tiny kitchen. The round table took up the entire room. Your great grandmother, Stella, was known for her crispy fried chicken which came from her own flock. Gravy and mashed potatoes. Green beans and sweetened ice tea.