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i helped a very good friend pack up her house today. as she determined what was either going into the Salvation Army or U Haul truck, i found myself lost in small moments of grieving. these were not my things nor my dramatic reality shift. yet, i marveled at how life can be sorted into “what goes” and “what stays”; how shared items reflect a time that once was and no longer is.

the walls have hidden stories of my friend’s family and those families before hers. the grooves on the hardwood floors mark the footsteps of her child as she grew into her precious four years. that kitchen whispers countless secrets shared over delicious recipes. the arches at the door’s entrance will welcome new owners tomorrow just as they have done for years.

in my life, i’ve packed up my own home at least a dozen times. no matter how often pictures are taken off their hooks and boxes taped up, i can’t get used to the sadness of an emptied space. all of the sudden, it feels like i was never there.

what is that?

this need to feel permanent. to have left a mark…an “I WAS HERE” note etched in nooks to be discovered down the line. there is a fear that without proof, my story will fade. hence, the reason for countless photographs in boxes, the carting of old journals and yearbooks sitting in decades of dust.

this is attachment. this is ego. this is human.

i know that holding onto things, wanting them to remain unchanged is unrealistic. what’s more, it’s painful.

i suppose this is my life’s lesson.

let’s hope i’ve learned it better by the next move.

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