Letting Go, Moving On, Not Forgetting

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Today I had a garage sale with my best friend Nancy at her house. My main goal (besides getting rid of a bunch of stuff I haven’t used in an embarrassingly long period of time) was to sell our gargantuan George Foreman grill and the over-the-toilet useless shelf thingy, and make $129 so I can buy a more useful bathroom wall cabinet for my house staging.My feet hurt, I’m sunburned, my allergies have kicked up like a house afire and I have a headache. But George went for $15 to a woman whose house interior was pretty much gutted by fire a few months ago (a very nice lady, btw), I talked a guy into taking the bathroom thingy for $7.50 (Half off! Such a deal for a chrome-and-glass beauty), and I made $130. So I’m happy.

And I only brought a couple of things back to the house–the shower curtain and accessories that were in my small bathroom (I’m going to see if someone at work wants it), my round copper clock that will go in my new kitchen in my new house (wherever that may be), a necklace I decided not to sell and a Disney tin I took from Nancy in exchange for a basket. All the other stuff is now en route to Help’s On the Way, the charity we chose, with nary a regret.

The only thing I had a very hard time letting go of wasn’t even in the garage sale. It was two of my Mom’s muu-muus. I’ve had them in a bag in my trunk ever since Carolyn and I cleaned out her closet last June. Of course, she had lots of them. Carolyn and I each took one at the time, and so did some of my brothers and sisters. I meant to donate the two remaining ones but just never did. Whenever I opened up the trunk of my car, winter or summer, I could get just a faint whiff of my mom’s perfume, and I liked it.

But yesterday, in order to be able to put my card tables in the trunk of my car I had to take out what was laying on the trunk floor. The last thing I grabbed was the bag with the muu-muus, and I thought, well, since we’re taking a load of stuff to donate anyway…

But I had to ask Nancy to talk me through it.

When I opened up the bag, the smell of Mom’s perfume was so fresh that it was as if she was standing right next to me, and I started to cry. But as Nancy reminded me, at least with HOTW we know that everything we give to them goes directly to the people who need it, unlike thrift stores that sell to the general public. And she also reminded me that my Mom would have been all about helping women who are going through hard times. So I stuffed the two muu-muus into a box very quickly, sealed it up and let it go.

This morning, I read a People magazine article about the graduation ceremonies at Virginia Tech, and one line will help pre-empt any guilt I might feel for getting rid of the muu-muus (and of course you know I will have some eventually). The university president said in his address, “Please know that moving on is not the same as forgetting. We will not forget.”

So I had a big day yesterday–I let go, hopefully helped a person or two, moved on, and of course, will never, ever forget.