Sometimes when you least expect it, a moment happens that reminds you of another life. A life you thought you had packed away, carefully folded, like clean clothes in an old suitcase. It waits, stuffed into a dusty corner with the forgotten bits of a past you no longer have use for, a neatly packaged collection of memories waiting to be discovered by another generation when cleaning out the attic after your death.
You forget it is even there except for the times when you feel obliged to shift the Christmas boxes or saved baby clothes to make room when the roof needs repairing or the pest control people come by to take care of the scratching sounds you hear late at night when sleep won’t come.
In shifting the suitcase to a new location, you wonder why you put it there and when you open it, you remember and you think, maybe I should get rid of these things that no longer fit me. So you shake them out and hold them up to the light. You might even step outside the attic where the light is better and you can see more clearly.
At the very end of it all, you may share some things with your friends who are happy to reminisce with you and remind you of all you have that fits the you that you have become. You consider what to do with it all after picking through the past, and after ruling out recycling, you stuff it into a large garbage bag and put it out with the Monday morning trash.
When I thought I had no more tears left for the sad mother stories that are at the very core of my history, I found myself wiping them away yesterday after reading your lovely comments. The sweetness and sensitivity you shared was healing and so appreciated. I hesitated for several months before sharing the accidental awareness found in a strangers question last January, but the dream of bowling balls and my mother pushed me to share a part of my life that sadly is similar to others out there. My deepest thanks to each of you for your support and kindness.