Thursday, August 02, 2007

Let's make a deal

There are boxes of my things that my former in-laws have. Four big boxes and one little box. Today, a lawyer from their town called me and asked if I would like to have them delivered. The little one they would ship, and the bigger ones I would have to arrange to have moved by a truck.

I have no idea what is in those boxes.

It crossed my mind that they were filled with stuffed animals and Swatch sweaters. It crossed my mind that they are probably filled with books, old greeting cards, and notes from junior high school. It crossed my mind they might be filled with wedding gifts that we never used.

Then it crossed my mind that I didn't even know I was missing these things. Things from my past. Things I have forgotten. Things that I once thought were important.

I told the lawyer to ship the small box and just dispose of the larger ones.

Will I regret throwing away part of my past without finding out what it was? Will I wonder for years to come what I parted with without giving it a chance? Will I always wonder if the afghans that my grandmother Honey crocheted were in those boxes?

Maybe. But it's just stuff. When you get divorced, you say good bye to stuff. I watched my ex walk out of my house with thousands of dollars worth of dishes, stainless, music equipment, cd's, and whatever else. I knew that he would sell it all. I knew that he wouldn't be throwing any dinner parties with our Ralph Lauren flatware. It didn't matter. It was just stuff.

I didn't want stuff. I wanted a life.

So I said good bye to a bunch of boxes. It felt almost like the lawyer was a game show host offering me the unknown behind curtain number one in exchange for weeks of discomfort. In exchange for me paying to have them moved here. In exchange for a little piece of the peace I have found.

No thanks. I'll pass. But please tell my former in-laws that I said thank you for asking.

I'll be getting a letter from the lawyer documenting our conversation and confirming that I gave my permission for disposal. At first, I thought they really must be scared of me to have to have a lawyer call about some boxes.

Then I remembered that they were scared of my Daddy. I remembered that when they heard he was coming to see me after the ex and I separated, they hired their son a lawyer straight away. They were scared of my Daddy, his knowledge, his record in the courtroom, and his fierce love of his daughter.

What they didn't know was that Daddy got lost in the airport while changing planes on that trip. They didn't know that I had to beg, bribe, and cry to the airlines for them to help me find him on the night he was supposed to come in. They didn't know, and they don't know, how much of him is gone.

Funny though. Sometimes I don't know how much of him is still here. On the day that I think about that, and the day that I spend mourning the losses my Daddy has faced thus far, he is busy defying those losses.

Even on what was a "bad day," he was translating legalese for my momma as she talked to their lawyer concerning my grandfather's estate. Translated the Latin. Explained the processes. Helped guide her through the conversation.

And then he had her email me and suggest that a friend of his go and look in the boxes to see what is there before I make up my mind to get rid of it all. It's an excellent idea. I'm not going to do it, because Guy and I decided over dinner that there was nothing I needed that was worth the hassle of getting it here. But still.

It felt good to find some of him that I thought was gone. I would much rather get parts of Daddy back than whatever was in those four big forgotten boxes.