My husband and I were talking the other night about the changes that have come our way this year. He has been working in the garage, sorting through 25 plus years of accumulating tools, and other guy stuff.
As he is weeding through things and deciding what stays and what goes, he is mourning. He said that in a way it is like preparing to die. He recalled the last time he did such a thing was when his father fell into poor health and was unable to clean out his own basement and garage. Being a little morose, he suspected the next time someone went through his things in this way would be after he died. Sadly, I suspect that is the case.
I had a similar response when our youngest son got married this summer. Suddenly the 4 quart crockpot was ridiculously large. I didn’t need twin sized sheets anymore, and there seemed to be so much of everything! I suppose some consider the emotional response to such changes as the empty nest syndrome – I just think of it as part of the normal flow of life.
I clearly remember my mom nearing the end of her life and we cleaned out the linen closet together. She had a very hard time parting with sheets and blankets that had not been used for many years. Similarly, when my dad moved from the house into an apartment a few years ago he was very distressed. He saw things he had worked so hard for all his life being given away or tossed in a dumpster.
I am not sure any of us are really ready for the latter part of our lives. We spend so much of our younger years amassing things that we will need “someday” or at some point in time. One day we wake up and poof! “Someday” has come and gone and we are left with our memories and a bunch of stuff we no longer need.
So, what is the lesson to be learned from this? The only thing for certain is change. Take time to make memories, repair relationships, cherish every moment you have with those you love. Those are things that will endure long after your stuff goes to Goodwill or the landfill.
I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by. Ecclesiastes 3:12-15 (NASB)