Keeping Memories

I can’t for the life of me understand why my mother is always looking for a reason to get rid of my boys’ things and photographs.  She is always coming up with something new… renting a storage unit to stick all the things from the condo in… taking down the growth chart on the wall… asking if I don’t find it too sad to have their pictures around, and when that doesn’t work, asking if I wouldn’t rather have the photos at home where I can look at them all the time.  I have copies of all the photographs that Mom has, and more.  I don’t need to take the ones she has in order to have something to look at.  It’s an excuse, because she doesn’t want to have to think about them.

I don’t know why she doesn’t understand what I feel.  I don’t want to put everything that reminds me of them in a box and lock it away as though they never existed.  Doesn’t she understand how I would feel to see photographs of my brothers’ grandchildren all over the house while my own are hidden as though they are somehow shameful or not worth remembering any more?  And, what about Mala?  She lives here with Mom.  How would she feel to have everything stuck in a closet or other pictures put in the frams?  I’ve tried repeatedly to explain this to her, but to no avail.  She may back off for a couple of weeks, but then come right back at me with a new tactic.  Perhaps some poor child would enjoy their favorite toys, or it would be helpful to a charity to get rid of them, or perhaps they should be cleared out in case she needs to go into a home someday.  So, I take more and more things from the condo home.  Every room is now filled with boxes that I haven’t had the courage or energy to go through yet.  The piles grow higher, and it has become overwhelming for me to even think of tackling them.  I have narrow paths through my rooms that I have to edge through and feel helpless to do anything about them.  The flotsam and jetsom of their three lives are all stuffed into cardboard boxes, and I can’t bear the thought of getting rid of it.  Not yet.  Perhaps it’s because there will never be anything else, and their things are so tangible and real.  I can touch them with my hands.  I can even smell their lingering scent on some of their belongings.  Devon’s humor shines out from the little homework assignments I have gathered, and his love for his dad and his brother.  I need that still.

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