Time for some introspection this week as I sit overwhelmed by stuff.  Stuff you own but can’t take with you.  Stuff you love but … no one wants?  Stuff you need but not six of them.  Stuff that makes you smile but at the same time, cry.  Stuff you hold on to because well there is warmth in having it.

What about all the other stuff you never knew you had or where it came from?  Your head is full of stuff that is all yours.   And what’s with all the paper stuff that God forbid has your name on it?

You know you are made of the right stuff when you make the decision to move into assisted living.  The hard part is putting faith in the loving hands of your adult children allowing them to go through your mass accumulation of over stuffed rooms, closets, and drawers trying to figure out what stays and what goes.

My daughter takes in all the stuff that has to be done as she picks up the phone for HELP!.  The list goes on and on … movers, boxes, packing tape, trash bags, change of electricity service, change of address, new hardware for picture hanging, and who is going to hang the curtains or my new TV or put together my new much needed armoire that I am sure will hold some stuff.

Most of the big stuff has found new homes along with all my pots and pans and dishes. The new apartment has been measured and remeasured as “my interior decorator” tries her best to get me to let go of as much stuff as possible.  I know she knows that I know that some of that stuff did not make it to her car.

I can see the frustration building as we take on the task of sweating the petty stuff which in this case is my 100 pairs of shoes with matching purses of course.  Unfortunately none of my daughters or daughter-in-laws have a size six and a half shoe.

On Move In Day, I am shooed away as my children direct the movers and unpack all of my stuff.  Every detail is taken care of!

After months of preparation I finally awaken each morning to the scent of freshly painted walls and new carpet.   All of my carefully placed stuff that I love and cherish add to the warmth of my new home.

I am in awe of the kindness of the staff as they greet me with a smile each morning.  They even make my bed and just generally take care of all the stuff of daily living.

I know in my heart that this will be my last move. I have come to realize that all that stuff really does not matter.  There is grace in knowing that all my needs are met and my children can rest peacefully.

The treasures will always be the stuff of albums and photograph’s that tell a story of a well-lived life.  I can still recall the sweet memory of youth and not the stuff of pushing a walker or the aches and pains of just getting out of bed.  Pure and simple … my body is worn out.  Thankfully I still have my wits as I try to recall the names of all the new faces.

And then I hear two beautiful words –  Great Great from the preciousness of a two year old with arms wide open or the wide eyed wonder of another great grandson that wants to sit and talk about World War II and I realize … I carry around a lot of stuff!!  But the stuff I crave is the touch of a hand, the feel of love in the voices that walk beside me.