Kallio Memorial Service - Snippet

Our Wedding Day - July 13, 1985

Saturday, January 30, 2010

To Organize or Bust

“Set your mind on the things above,
not on the things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:2.

The mountains of paperwork involved when you loose your spouse is overwhelming to say the least. I've set priorities for the things that I know must be done, like notifying social security and pension plans. But, I'm trying to avoid making big financial decisions until I have removed them from an emotional level to a rational one.

After trying to wade through all of this, I've come to the conclusion that I absolutely must get more organized with all my paperwork. Right now it seems to be flung from one end of the house to the other. So now I've made a mess in every room instead of just my office. I decided instead of wasting the closet space in my spare bedroom that I could set it up to store my office supplies and genealogy work. Then when I'm working on a specific project that I would be able to find it and only have that in front of me. However, the spare closet is full of stuff too. Yes I'm a pack-rat! I have a tub full of old sheets that don't fit any of the beds I currently have. Why? The answer to that is maybe I will need it for something. I'm not sure what exactly that something is though. So they are going on the next donation truck. My work on that closet came to a screeching halt when I found a silly pair of suspenders that belonged to my husband. The suspenders have the Finnish word “sisu” running down the lengths of them. “Sisu” means guts or perseverance. The suspenders were a gift and of course brought back memories of Darrell wearing them and laughing about it. And of course the memory brought on the tears again, so I had to walk away from that project for a bit.

Funny, how we attach so much importance on the tangible things that we can still touch and feel when we can no longer touch the person that the item belonged to. At the end of my bed lays the clothing that Darrell had on when he died. It still carries his scent and when I need to feel him close I smother my face in them. They will remain there until I can totally release him. I did manage to discard some ratty old tennis shoes of his that should have been thrown away long ago, he insisted on keeping them, thinking he would use them when he mowed the lawn. But, to be honest, the day after I put them in the dumpster I almost dug them back out. I was proud of myself when I resisted the temptation.
A couple days ago I finally downloaded the photo's from my digital camera. I had been avoiding it because I knew there were pictures that would include Darrell. It's just so darn hard knowing he won't be in any more pictures. As they appeared on my computer screen it was one of those glad/sad moments when one of the pictures was of Darrell and our grandson. It was such a great moment when our grandson, Tony, received his Black Belt in karate. He had worked so hard for a long time to earn it. Grandpa was really proud of him and thrilled to share the moment. I think you can see in the picture how happy they both were to have this moment to share. The picture was taken just 15 days before Darrell died, hard to believe that someone that looks so healthy in this picture could die so suddenly.

In the end I don't think it's really the material things that we hold onto, but rather the memory that they invoke. There is an old Indian proverb that I like and it says: “We will be known by the tracks we leave behind.”
It's not really the possessions that he left on this earth that are important, but the impressions that he made in our hearts.

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