Quitting Stuff and Finding Love: A Senior’s Passage

Jun 23rd, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Passing along largesse and history.  It has taken my wife and me over 35 years together to collect all the belongings which occupy our home and lives.  For a long time we saw those belongings as a symbol of status and decorator quality and lots of excitement and fun because of the memories that went with them. 

Now, they are mostly in the way.  Its difficult to move around so much, literally move around, from place to place, with all the stuff hampering us.  But, it is satisfying to begin to let some of it go.  It is particularly gratifying when coming across something that strikes you as a perfect gift and reminder of your love for a grandchild or a friend.  That is the release from things that one seeks in sorting out the stuff from the chaff.  Both are unnecssary in our lives.  Someone else may appreciate it all the more.

In our estate sale the other weekend, some remarkable moments flashed before us.  A young family, mother, dad and a small son and daughter came looking for a single bed for the two children, about 3 and 4 in ages.

We just happened to still have one that had belonged to our son.  It was his growing up bed and has three large drawers underneath for storage.  For them, it was perfect.  They consulted to determine their ability to buy it and soon decided to do so.  They returned the next day and with the loan of our pickup loaded the item, ready to be hauled away.  They had also wanted and needed a sofa.  I showed them one that makes into a bed and offered them a rock bottom price.  They snatched it up and hauled both pieces away.  It was glorious to experience the excitement and satisfaction in the eyes of a young family as they took their treasures to their own home. 

Another couple, somewhat more well off, identified several pieces that would fit well in their home and his office.  Our brief acquaintance was gift enough, but now they own some of us and hopefully will remember some of the history and sentiment that went out the door with them.     

Stories like that came and went as each new customer came through the door and departed with their “finds.” It was like seeing our lives flash before our eyes as we recalled where and when and why we had purchased each item. 

The real joy is in discovering that letting go of stuff is not so painful.  Sure, there are a few very special items that we are not yet ready to release, some of which are promised to our children and others.  That time will come.  It is a freeing time.  It is recognizing that “it is better to give than to receive.”  It is discovering that collections and things are means of passing on one’s heritage and to remind others that we have been here.  Hopefully, what goes with that passing of the baton is memory and appreciation and honor for who we were in their lives, even in those brief moments of an estate sale.



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