Moving and packing for my grandmother was a surreal experience. She hasn’t left us but we are doing things as if she had. It’s so hard to explain what kinds of emotions that brings.
There are so many memories packed up in those boxes. Memories she had, memories she shared with my Grandfather, memories from before my time, memories that I had forgotten about. So many things I can hold onto and show my kids. So many things that if it weren’t for her holding on to them, my kids may have never even known about.
While unpacking some of the boxes at my house I came to a box full of pictures. Photo albums, framed pictures, loose pictures. Scrapbooks we made for my grandparents brought me to tears. I looked and read each page and sobbed like a baby.
I love my memories.
I love thinking about my time with my grandparents. I love the person that my Grandmother is.
That box had much more than just memories with my Grandparents though. That box had every imaginable photo in it. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holidays, dance recitals and competitions. Going through it with my sister and my daughter is something I won’t ever forget. I wish there could have been a picture of that for later.
As busy and as crazy as things have been I am still able to notice the small changes that happen within me. For the longest time I have tried to minimize the amount of “reminders” that are around us from before my divorce. I worried that it was too painful for the kids or that I would look at a picture and I would be sad. They aren’t hidden, they are there, I just chose to turn my back to them instead of staring and discussing.
That box was full of all kinds of memories though and my ex was a big part of everyone’s lives for a very long time. That box held my wedding pictures, my baby shower pictures, the kids hospital pictures. At one point I picked up a picture of my Ex and I and I couldn’t help but laugh and laugh and laugh. I remember taking the picture, I remember how silly we were acting, I remember it all like it was yesterday.
When I moved on to the next album I realized what had just happened.
I looked at the picture and I laughed about it.
I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t ticked off, I didn’t want to rip it or burn it, I didn’t miss that time or feel any sense of regret…
It was a memory. A good one. One that makes me smile typing about it.
That is huge. It’s huge to be at the point where I can remember. I can remember and it doesn’t have to be about anything more than a memory. Only the feelings associated with that memory came into play. Looking at his face was a part of my past, of me and my kids and our family.
I didn’t say anything. I just moved on to the next photo.
I realized it though.
I realized I was in a different place emotionally and mentally.
He is a man. The father of my children. My ex-husband. I loved him. I promised him forever. We had a family. We built a family and a home.
I have held onto so much anger and so much resentment for so long. When I put that picture down and moved on to the next I realized that was all gone.
Nothing is left but the memories.
No sadness, no bitterness or resentment. There is still confusion but that isn’t with me. I can only do my part to help with the confusion they feel.
It was huge.
It was a weight lifted, a deep breath.
His face didn’t make me angry or sad or regretful.
His face was just a face that was a part of my memory.