Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stuff

You can't hitch a U-Haul to your coffin.
M. Toney

My neighbor Marc said these words to me almost a year ago shortly after he lost his beloved wife and my friend Granny Lin. Lin and I became friends over a loaf of bread. During our first Christmas living in the country I had a two year old and a newborn. My husband works long hours into the evening and I was a little lonely. Just before Christmas Lin drove up and sang me a Christmas carol with her grandson and gave me a warm loaf of bread. We were fast friends.

For six years she watched the kids while I ran to the grocery each week. In the short time I was gone she would do my dishes, bake something, and read books to the kids. She even taught Phoebe how to knit. She would bake me the best pineapple upside down cake for my birthday and she was the best hugger ever. Almost one year ago I received her last hug. She is still greatly missed.

Lin was a keeper of stuff, a pack rat of sorts. She had trunks and drawers full of things old and new. It has been difficult for her husband to sort through and deal with. His quote about not being able to hitch a U-Haul to your coffin has stayed with me. How much stuff do we really need to accumulate? How many dishes, cookbooks, shoes, clothes, and things do we need to keep? I feel that well organized family photos and a few keepsakes are all anyone would ever want from us when we are gone anyway. Lin's smile, warmth, hugs, and fresh baked goodies are what I miss the most from her.

These are just thoughts that are surfacing as I move and clear my stuff to bring more holiday stuff out from the basement to put out. Come January I am cleaning house!
Shine your light,
Kathy Anne

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