Like my mother, I have been losing my memories lately…though unlike her it’s not physiological. After making repeated attempts at emptying her apartment and mining through her storage, the infection spread into my life. This summer I have made a bit of headway divesting my own junque. Obviously easy to start with excess dishes, cookware and clothes, not so obvious are trading a lot of heavy weight hand me down furniture for the lightweight disposable who cares what happens to it kind. The antique steel couch I was sleeping on went out with the last trash pickup – and all my heavy victorian upholstered furniture was freecycled away. In their place are some more mobile and lighter wicker pieces. I am down to culling through shelves upon shelves of books, dvds, postage stamps, stationery, supplies, tools and a mess of uncatagorizable items. I seem to have inherited my family’s packrat gene, I just have it all ridiculously organized.
Something that went away by accident was the box of family photos. No secret that I am not overly fond of my family members still breathing but some of those six feet under I only knew from these pictures. One of the bonus side effects of toxic parentage is a lack of childhood memories, so paper images also function as tangible proof of an events you can’t recall.
When my brother got married two years ago, I presented him with a CD of a hundred or so scanned pictures, almost all depicting him alone or with family members, as well as anything regarding our father and grandparents. Of course I left out pictures of myself alone as a child, since he can barely stand me as an adult, nevermind in miniature.
The scans I have, the pictures I replaced in an archival box and left in my mother’s house. The last time I saw my childhood, it was in a box was on the kitchen table. Since then no one has seen it. The logical conclusion is that it went into the trash unopened. My hope is that Himself simply shoved it into a larger box with the hundreds of years of banking papers my mother had saved. It’s not that my brother is deliberately evil, only casually so. He doesn’t set out to do anything malicious, he is merely self centered and well……incredibly astoundingly stupid. Remember, this is the asshole who removed the furniture with my mother’s clothes still in the drawers.
It is surprisingly liberating, cutting all those apron strings at once. Uncluttering the house led to uncluttering the brain as well. Go figure.
If I can give you one piece of advice, scan anything you give a shit about, and save it offsite – you never know.