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That Stuff May Be Useful Someday

I helped my 10-year-old friend clean and organize her room. As she lobbied to keep a shoe that was about to fall apart, I saw shades of myself in her. And a characteristic of my mother.

Her name, which I’m withholding, means moonlight. So I’ll call her Moonlight. An artist, Moonlight saw value in things that might be useful someday.

That shoe? Its unique straps could be saved. I don’t know what for, but I looked at them through her eyes. Maybe, I thought, they’d get a second life in a piece of art.

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The teeth my mother made in dental school.

My mother used to stow things away for someday. I must admit, I inherited the trait to a degree. The practice makes cleaning out a loved one’s stuff after their death, well, interesting. I still don’t know why Mom put a handful of her long, straight, gray hair in a grocery bag.

I found the bag of hair tucked in a drawer of the coffee table. I kept the hair.

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Finding Treasure In Inherited Books

I bet you inherited books. Maybe a Bible. Or a series of recipe books. Or maybe like me, you inherited enough books to fill a small library, too many to ever read during your busy life.

What are you to do with them all? I suggest you examine them closely before deciding to haul them to a donation center or library because inside their pages lay buried, priceless treasure.

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Among the books my parents left me was a set of science encyclopedias.

And just like treasure, we must “dig” to collect it.

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When Death Shakes Our Identity

What am I supposed to be? At different times in our lives we may ask this question or versions of it. Our sense of purpose – what am I to be? – is wrapped up in our identity – who am I?

Nothing shakes identity’s foundation more violently than death. We were spouses, but now our mates are gone. We were friends, and then our lifelong BFF dies. Sisters, now without a sis.2018-04-10 00.39.18

Or we were daughters, but now our mommies and daddies are dead, leaving us with a crisis of identity. Or perhaps the feeling that we are orphans. Adult orphans. Lost. Belonging to no one.

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