We’ve just returned from a few days in Massachusetts. My mother-in-law is not capable of living alone anymore, so we did our part to help sort out and empty her apartment. It’s a very small apartment in a senior complex, so there really wasn’t all that much – at least in comparison to when she moved from the house where she lived most of her adult life.
She was a librarian, so you’ll understand that much of what we sorted was books. She not only has books, she has books about books. And they were in large and small bookcases, cupboards, baskets, and most any nook or cranny.
I’m not complaining. I have a fair stash of books myself, and this trip added some nice history books and classics to my collection. I foresee good summer reading ahead.
My husband acquired “the Finnish books.” There are books about Finland, where my mother-in-law’s family came from, and books written in Finnish. If you want to know anything about saunas, for instance, including how to pronounce the word properly (it has 3 syllables), just ask.
And then there are the photos – albums and albums of photos, meticulously labeled and organized over the years. While I was glad to take the one of my husband’s childhood, the rest will be stored in my sister-in-law’s closet.
As I think of my mother’s photo collection, and even my own, I wonder, really, why we scrupulously save these things. Will my kids or grandkids really want pictures of my high school friends? Or my hiking photos from the Adirondacks? Or that play we did at church? Will I be leaving behind treasures or things they will feel obligated to keep?
I think it’s time to do some sorting and tossing.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)