Here's an amazing fact... this is the third year in a row we've participated in this fundraising endeavor, yet each year, we all have an amazing amount of rummage to donate. Does this amaze you, too? Where does all this stuff come from? Of course, there are always clothes we've grown out of. There are toys that are no longer age appropriate. I didn't have as much this year as in the past two, but I had a ginormous contractor's trash bag so full and heavy that I couldn't pick it up.
My mom always gives me a collection of things. Of course, I have to look through it all before taking it to the sale. Two years ago, she tossed her mustard yellow Tupperware canister set in the box, and I saved those from the box. I still haven't used them, but they are just a part of my DNA, and the thought of selling them for $2 to some old lady carrying around 50 dollar bills tucked in her bra just made me sick. So I kept them. This year, I kept a pine cone basket. Who doesn't need one? Apparently my mother can live without now, but she's had so many years with it, so I see her desire to pass it on. But I was thinking I could dust it off a bit and pull it out at Christmas. It reminds me of Christmas at my mom's house. And I just couldn't sell Christmas at my mom's house for $1 at a rummage sale. So I kept it.
I debated with myself (if that's possible) about the wooden salt and pepper shakers. They say on our stove or kitchen counter for my entire childhood. I honestly don't recall salt or pepper ever actually being in either shaker, but there they would sit. I finally decided that, no, I did not need to keep them. I don't know if we sold them or not; I never saw them in a box headed to donation, so I guess I'll never know. But this morning, I find myself wishing I had kept them. But I guess it's too late.
I find myself doing that a lot here lately. Holding onto things. Just wanting little pieces of her everywhere. Wishing I could see her every day. Talking to her as many times as I can. Appreciating what she's given me throughout my life. Knowing how blessed I am to have what I have with her. She's near about the best mom in the world, and I have had that for almost 35 years. Some people live a whole life and never have a mom like her. God has blessed me richly.
I know deep down inside that it's not about the Tupperware or the basket or the salt and pepper shakers. It's about accepting that I have zero control of what's raging inside of her. The cells gone haywire. The cancer. And so I hold onto the things that I can. The literal things. Funny thing is that those aren't even the things that matter. It's the memories that carry on forever. It's the words she's said to me for so many years, the advice, the laughter we've shared. And, I guess, when I really stop to think about it, those are things I will never find in a cardboard box on the way to a rummage sale.
My mom made a great memory with Madalyn yesterday when she took her to the Disney Princess on Ice show. I wept when I read her honesty on Caring Bridge... I am trying to make memories while I can. Though it hurts to hear her say the words and makes the cancer feel so much more real to me, I love her all the more for it. She's making the most of every day. She's sharing herself with all her loved ones. She's pretty stinking amazing. And she's my mom.