After spending six years in our current house, the time has come to move. My daughter who went to the University of Georgia has graduated and moved to Chicago, and my beloved Bill has graduated and moved on, too. There is no need for a four-bedroom house, and, before his illness, Bill talked about downsizing, finding a modern house, selling all our furniture, and starting over. Well, that is exactly what is happening.
We are having an estate sale next week and getting rid of literally every piece of furniture we own, keeping only clothes, dishes, and few pieces of art. Fortunately, the new place, a condo in a high rise, comes furnished. If that isn’t enough stress, last week we moved out of the Tybee Island condo that Bill and I bought eight years ago as our retirement home. We sold it furnished, so everything we moved fit in my Prius.
Bill saw moving as a time to purge your life of the things you don’t use and really don’t need. He thought it was a chance to share your once treasured possessions with someone else so they can enjoy them. He would love this move I think, but I always was much more sentimental than him.
His mother sold the home he grew up in a couple of years before her death. It was the house his grandfather built for his grandmother more than a century before, and the only house she had lived in. I couldn’t believe she was selling it and moving while in her 80s. Before it sold, I asked Bill if he wanted to go to North Carolina and see it one last time. He looked at me and asked, “Why?” The lack of sentimentality apparently is genetic. Bill always was just like his mother.
So, as I look at everything we own and feel the nostalgia and memories well up, I stop and ask myself, “What would Bill do?” The answer has reduced what I’m moving by at least half. Bill is still in my ear teaching me to travel more lightly through this world. It is good advice, but it sure isn’t easy for someone with a tender heart. Because I already have given to Heaven that which I treasured most, it is a lot easier to let go of things. They aren’t nearly as important any more.
Rev. Michael Piazza