My tree needs to be taken down. The magic of Christmas is definitely over. It’s the glow of the lights I love at night that makes me hesitate. But in the next couple of days the boxes will appear from the garage and be filled once again. I don’t know what will be happening next year, but I will probably be placing each item back in its special place to make me feel warm and cozy again.
My plastic storage containers are stacked in my garage. Yesterday I caught a glimpse of one while I was getting food for my dog. Stuffed down at the bottom of one of them was an elephant, and Big Ben. I didn’t put them up of course and I probably should just throw them out. There are some things not worth hanging onto.
One of the parties I had this year was one for my girlfriends and kids. We exchanged white elephant gifts and I got rid of the elephant night-light I had bought Slimeball, thinking it would look good on a book-case and remind him of the time in our lives when we were eating the elephant, one bite at a time. I also pulled out the pink Build-A-Bear he got me on his first trip out. It had a recording in the paw that told me in his voice how much he enjoyed his trip out and how he couldn’t wait to see us all again, even naming my children.
I asked the kids if we should give that away in the exchange too and they descended upon it instead. “No mom, this needs to be destroyed.” They took it from me. It was a joke at first, and my son’s friend said he wanted to hear it. So my son pushed the button as I left the room. When I came back my daughter had tears in her eyes. My son ripped off the head. His friend threw the stuffing into the trash can. They were adamant about its complete destruction. My daughter ripped out the voice recording and managed to record over what was already there before throwing it away too. As violent as it was I let them do it because they both had tears in their eyes. They loved him. And he hurt them so very much. They needed to be able to express their anger some how. And why not by destroying an inanimate object that represented his love for us.
I tossed the last few pictures I had buried underneath new pictures in frames too. I had some printed of Harry so I could see his face when he wasn’t around. It gave me the opportunity to toss old ones in disgust. I literally say and feel, “Argh” as if to say, “Get it away, get it far away and never make me look at that again.” And not because of hurt but of utter disgust.
I did such a good job of mentally and emotionally getting closure last year. It’s time for the material things left in corners, buried, or put away in closets to be dumped.
And like Harry said, begin replacing them.
It is frankly quite easy for me to get rid of any physical symbol from that doomed relationship I had with Slimeball.
But I’m thinking into my future and making it real with Harry. And we are considering moving for about a year or two into a high-rise apartment in the city with a view of the ocean. It’s been a dream of his and I say why not? Where you do a little shop for groceries each day, go out to kitschy stores and restaurants, and walk more than drive having the entertainment and options of the big city right next to the sand on the beach.
And if we do that, after we are married, then I need to at the very least pack up many material possessions that have surrounded me for decades and separate myself from them. Every single thing I look at holds a memory. And with this stuff it’s not about my failed relationship with my ex. It’s about my history, my life. And in embracing something completely different and new, it’s going to require me to say goodbye to that old stuff that holds memories for me.
I’ll probably pick a couple of things to keep close but let the rest go. It’s strange for me to consider.
I know what really matters is that on New Year’s Eve Harry and I sat on the green couch in my living room. I had my feet in his lap and we were relaxed, and laughing and talking and he stopped me and said. “I have never had this.” And squeezed my foot. And I crawled over onto his lap and kissed him.
We can and will do that on any couch, in any room, no matter where we are. It doesn’t have to be the green one that holds so many memories. All I need is him.