I suppose that this is a problem that everyone faces when a relationship ends. What do you do with "the box of stuff"? The box looks different and has different things in it, but inside it's basically the same for everyone, isn't it? Mine is white and green, and says Weyerhaeuser on it. In big hand printed letters it also says "CDs & Clock", so I guess it was a moving box in its first life.
Ticket stubs, letters, notes, pictures…
I didn't know him very long, unless you count knowing him since childhood. I was a child and he was nearly a man when I knew him "the first time". I watched him from afar, admiring his blond hair, his light eyes, and his quick smile. At ten years old, the idea that this almost-man would ever have anything to do with me was preposterous.
Thirty years later he shows up in my life again, and it wasn't such a preposterous notion anymore. Nobody comes into a relationship without baggage of some type. But one of the crazy things about this relationship was that my feelings for him predated my feelings for just about every boy for whom I ever had feelings (except for Frank Real, my kindergarten crush!). I was ten, what did I know? I know that he pulled my heart strings then, and I know I was nearly heartbroken when his family moved away all those years ago.
And here I am, 41 years old, and heartbroken again. Same guy, only slightly different story. The first moving away involved a change of address, this one involved a change of heart. There was a chasm between us that merely crossing the miles couldn't close.
So, what do I do with the cobalt blue water bottle, all those printouts of our hours-long IM sessions, the rocks I picked up along the railroad tracks in the Royal Gorge, the letters I wrote and never sent, his notes and his cards? What do I do with the huge file with his name on it that I downloaded off my computer? What do I do with the scavenger hunt mementos? I don't think he's keeping ANY of "our stuff". But I cannot bear to throw a single bit of it away. So, what do I do with it?
Last night I went through it, read some things, touched things that he had touched. But it served no purpose except to make me cry. I don't think I can keep the box, but I can't get rid of it either. Not yet.