I’ve spent the last week cleaning out my father-in-law’s old house. I have been a little surprised by how emotional it has made me. Initially it wasn’t too bad. I tried to think of it as just “stuff” instead of “Dad’s stuff”, and for a while that was working. At least, until I got to this one particular drawer in his dresser.
There wasn’t anything in the drawer that was particularly sentimental. In fact, most of it was just clothing that had never been worn. It was just sitting there with the tags still on, in packages that had never been opened. Those unopened packages hit me harder than anything else. More than his favorite shirt, more than photo albums, more than anything else I came across. Those unopened packages were such a stark reminder that none of us knows how long we have on this earth.
How many of us have clothing in our closet that has never been worn? Maybe we are waiting for a special occasion, maybe we are waiting to lose five more pounds, or maybe we just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe it is a perfect pair of shoes that sits in a box because they are so pretty we don’t want to take a chance on messing them up. Maybe it is grandma’s china that sits in storage because we are afraid that we might break a piece if we use it.
Seeing those unopened packages really drove home to me how pointless it is to wait to enjoy the things that we have. Those shoes may be perfect, but what if your time comes before you ever take them out of the box? Grandma’s china may be very special, but wouldn’t you rather think of her every time you use it (even if you do break a saucer)? What if you don’t ever lose those last five pounds?
Those unopened packages have inspired me to stop waiting. When I get back home I’m going thru my closet to find those ‘special’ outfits and I’m going to wear them. I’m going to eat a hamburger off a china plate. Because we never know how many days we will have I’m going to start seizing every single one of them.
Me and my father-in-law