Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's In The Giving We Receive

I did it. It was colder than usual but at least the rain stayed away so the Garage Sale went on as planned.

Having been on the "bargain hunting" end looking for those couple of dollar or less items I was now on the end of parting with things I knew were worth far more for little to nothing just to get them out and on their way.

True, I'm fortunately not forced to sell things and at least so far not having to walk away and leave behind everything but the clothes on my back. Been there, done that. Not my primary decision. Understand why now and did then but still hurt greatly to leave behind so little in today's terms but so much in my young life.

The best part of the Garage Sale?  A chance encounter with a few people I feel gave me the opportunity to continue to give.

Whatever I've had in life, if someone needed or appeared to need, my hand is ready to help, to offer whatever, to share what I have.

There was an older woman who found a blue sweater of my husband's I'd put out for $2. She was soft spoken and when I went to put the sweater into a bag, I noticed and she noticed there were moth holes. I told her I couldn't sell it to her like that and she said she'd pay $1 for it. I told her to just take it, please. She then said she'd lost her husband just forty days ago.... FORTY well I remember even though for me it will soon be four years.

She looked close to my age but could have been somewhat older. We were sisters in loss, sisters in life, yet have no idea who either of us really is as we both continue to redefine who we are, where we are and what we will do with the days and nights remaining before someone else starts our journey because we, too, have passed from this life.

The Mom who drove up as I was closing and putting away so many things that didn't appeal to someone, didn't find a "new home". She'd spotted a Fisher Price dollhouse and asked how much it was. I told her and could tell it was beyond what she felt she could pay.

When she'd gotten out of the van she drove, a young man and a girl came with her. She said her one daughter in the car saw it and she'd really like to get it for her but what I was asking was more than she could do. We talked more and she mentioned she had five children. Long story short, my heart saw her heart and I told her to take the doll house and furnishings, a chair and a doll stroller and even a couple of other small toys for less than what I'd asked. Chance acquaintance. Fortunate meeting. Making her day made mine.

Neighbors I'd not met before came by. Some walking dogs and some just walking. One couple from just down the street but whom I'd not met stopped to talk and then they were both drawn to an old display case. My father in law had found it and the paper still inside was dated before World War II started. 

A very heavy piece. I'd said "someday" I'll do something with it. Years passed. Someday didn't come. Daughter didn't want it. Sons have shown no interest in those "old things" time for a new home, a family, a place where it would be cherished until they too decided the time had come and passed it along to another family to cherish and use and tell stories about how it had come to them.

It's not really a sale, it's a passing on. And, as for me, I truly give things away to people who touch my soul in passing, people who are kindred spirits. But let them be avaricious or appear to disdain my treasures and I'm tempted to not  sell to them at any price and very nicely say, no, I'm sorry, I think $2 (or $5 or whatever) is a reasonable price. And then smile as they walk away knowing someone will come by, someone who's meant to have that piece, that item.

I was exhausted by the end of the day. Daughter and I were up at 4 AM to lug, tug, tote and drag so much I thought we'd cleared out the entire house. Only to look around and see, you guessed it, a beginning and a clear vision of yet another garage sale -- maybe the following weekend, weather permitting. 

It was days on end of working, assembling, categorizing, pricing and wondering where so much came from since we'd had a fire and lost almost everything when we were married seven years.  Amazing what life drops in your lap from friends and relatives over the years!

So, I'm doing it again. Going through more "stuff".  Finding the courage to let go, to move ahead, to move on and to share with others and bring a little joy.

A simple, little story, for them to pass on. A memory of how that "garage sale item" from one Saturday in October in 2014 came into their lives when they met this woman who over four decades ago began a new chapter in her life as "the couple", became "the family" and then the "multigenerational family" -- who accumulated all those things by starting a life together as husband and wife.

It was a great day to make new memories and to cherish the old memories. He was with me, my husband; and so was she, my mom. I didn't give them away and I didn't give me away or our lives together. I reached out and touched other lives, found ways what we had could be shared, given and entrusted to others who would care for and about what was time to say goodbye to.

It's in the giving we receive.

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