Decluttering leads to finding treasures! If ever you need incentive to start or continue decluttering…consider that you just may find long forgotten or misplaced treasures! Hubby Dave and I are planning to move to New Hampshire (from Maine) next spring–actually BACK to NH for me, as I was born and raised there, and my two youngest daughters, my sons-in-law, and my grandchildren live there. We have begun the decluttering process for that reason, plus…we just have too much STUFF!
As Dave and his parents cleaned and sorted through his brother’s things, they found many special, sentimental items. As I have worked on decluttering our sun porch over the weekend, I found our cat carrier, the rest of my speech therapy toys and learning aids (including my PECS book), some older family pictures, a poem by Helen Steiner Rice I read after my Dad passed away, and a tribute I wrote to my Dad around the same time in September 2002.
The poem is actually quite relevant now, due to the recent death of my brother-in-law.
When I Must Leave You
“When I must leave you for a little while,
Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you through the years,
But start out bravely with a gallant smile;
And for my sake and in my name
Live on and do all things the same,
Feed not your loneliness on empty days,
But fill each waking hour in useful ways,
Reach out your hand in comfort and cheer
And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
And never never be afraid to die,
For I am waiting for you in the sky!
–-Helen Steiner Rice
And now, as I’ve just remembered my Mom’s passing away 5 years ago (7-7-2011), I’m approaching the 14th year since losing my Dad (9-2-2002). This is the tribute piece I wrote for him back then.
“My Dad…how does one begin to describe a man who was one in a million…he was just always there–from my earliest memories, my Dad was always there for me.
There to listen, there with his broad shoulders to bear burdens, there with his big bear hugs–strong yet gentle–there to laugh with, there to cry with–there for instruction as well as correction…wise yet humble–a true picture of love and humility, a true example of unconditional love.
Criticism was rare, while encouragement was frequent…his support could be depended on, even when he didn’t necessarily agree with some of my foolish decisions over my 44 years that I’ve been privileged to call him Dad. He never withdrew his love, his forgiveness, or his acceptance of me for who I was to him–his oldest daughter.
I have so many cherished memories of our family times–all the camping trips and vacations, all the family gatherings and holiday celebrations which grew larger over the years as my siblings and I grew, married, and had children–as my parents eventually became grandparents of 11 grandchildren–with number 12 on the way!
And with each new birth, my Dad did his special bonding pose, as we had come to know it, and blessed each grandchild in his own special way…and carried on the tradition of sharing his love and his faith with his grandchildren, as he continued to do with each of my siblings and myself…
As he did with everyone who ever had the honor of knowing him and calling him ‘friend’ or ‘brother.’ A giant of a man, our ‘gentle giant’ in the eyes of all who knew him. Yet he never would accept any credit or praise–he always gave God the glory for every good thing that came his way–and never blamed God for any of the bad things… a good example for us all!
Yes, he was one in a million and can never be replaced. His physical presence will be deeply missed–is already missed–especially his wonderful hugs, which I could sure use right now!
Yet his presence in our hearts and minds will always be there–precious and enduring in our memories. Just as he was always there for me all my life, he will continue to be always HERE for me, in my mind and my heart, living on forever…
I already miss you, Dad –and I love you forever.” –Karen Lee Banks 9-2002
So what are YOUR thoughts?
Have you recently, or in the distant past, lost a loved one?
Have you ever come across special sentimental items while cleaning years later?