I actually did keep a few things, like our Christmas tree holder and Tyson's Halloween costumes. There was a the box of old pictures from Rachel and my youth. Most shots would have been instantly erased had digital cameras been around at the time. However, there were a few rarities that made me evoke Harry Caray and say, "Holy Cow," like the picture of our friend Jenna doing the splits or my four high school ID cards.
However, most of the stuff I came across were more standard home run calls. There were six super ceded Naval manuals, a small collection of Homies figurines, and a cassette tape of Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl album that I may or may not have stolen from my older sister approximately 18 years ago. All said items made like a long, fly ball and are now gone.
I felt no remorse getting rid of most of the stuff. That was, until I was lying in bed last night. All day I had been trying to remember why I kept a beer bottle full of sand in my closet five years ago. I have been to numerous countries and beaches, and while sorting through the closet I could not identify the sand's origins. I finally did, around two a.m, remember where it came from. It was from a beach in Mexico I visited with a group of college friends. We met a taxi driver in Cozumel. He helped us escape the masses that had just rushed off of our cruise ship, and took us to an undisturbed, white sand beach. We spent the afternoon getting sunburned in our own private paradise, drinking a Mexican beer we had never heard of before. It was a memory I treasured and I felt terrible for getting rid of the bottle.
However, once morning came I regarded the bottle in a new light. Sure the bottle helped me remember that wonderful afternoon, but it had served it's time and needed to go. The items that will replace it in the closet, onesies and burp clothes, Bumpo chairs and baby gates, will also one day have to go. I will never own a closet big enough to hold all of the things I will accumulate in this life. What am I talking about, I will never own a closet big enough to hold all of Rachel's clothes and shoes. Even though I had to throw away the bottle and all the other things, I never have to purge them from my memories.
The memories I hold sacred today will most certainly have to move over soon. But, luckily, there are no physical constraints on our brains the way there is in our homes. I'm glad I got to see the bottle and the sand one more time but like the baseball announcer who called the home run, I must move on. The game, and life, moves on.
Of course, there are the few home run balls that are kept as mementos for future use... Jenna, have you ever heard of blackmail?
Here is the belly pic everyone has been pining for; Rachel at 24 weeks. She is more beautiful with every passing day, which is good because she is also increasingly irritable and uncomfortable as well. School's out in a mere three weeks, and she can't wait to be off her feet for more of the day.
Names I ruled out while listening to baseball and cleaning the closet - Chuey, Auggie, Pudge and Barbie.