I spent the better part of yesterday packing up the earthly possessions of my 92 year old mother as prelude to locking them up in a storage unit. She is currently in “limbo” regarding her future place of residence while she spends time in a rehab facility after breaking both of her legs in a fall at the assisted living facility where she had been living. Her apartment there is comfortable and filled with memorabilia and pictures which tell the story of her life.
Family pictures going back more than 50 years, nick-knacks that I remember seeing on shelves as a child, clothing and afghans that are almost as old as I am. Dishes that I remember eating from as a teenager and china that I never ate from but saw displayed on shelves out of reach to little hands. And then there were the newer things that she has accumulated later in life. Some dresses with the labels and price-tags still on them. Gift items that have never been opened. You would not need to personally know my mother to understand, just by looking at her things that she loved cats and dogs, and she loved her family.
As I packed each of those items I was overcome by a sense of sadness. The sadness of the task, however, was softened a bit by the gentle touch of fond memories associated with many of them.
I hope that when my children sift through my earthly possessions, as surely they will have to do, that they will have a similar mix of sadness with the fond memories to soften the hardness of the task.
In all of this, the greater joy for me is knowing that while I may store Mom’s possessions in a storage unit there is stored for her in heaven even greater things which she will one day receive when she sees the Savior face to face. On that day, she will not miss those earthly possessions at all!