This weekend I was cleaning out my office and going through boxes of photos & crap in an effort to get rid of more stuff.
Mission accomplished. One huge bag of shredded papers and junk tossed. Lots of paper recycled, a box of books donated, 3 boxes mailed to Taz (one was her wedding dress), etc., etc. It was a long, vastly productive weekend.
The first day was a bit slow as I went through boxes of photo albums and I came across boxes of old letters both from my mom’s stuff and my stuff. My mom’s correspondence was interesting. Letters from my dad (post-divorce), my grandparents (both sides), my mom’s sister and more.
At the beginning, when my parents separated and my mom moved 3 hours away to go back to school, my dad wrote a couple of nice, warm letters to her. He missed his kids. Then something must have happened and the tone shifted.
My mom always thought he had been having an affair with my stepmom. Maybe. Later on my stepmom wrote some nasty letters to my mom calling her a slut & accusing her of keeping us kids for the child support money.
My grandparents sent letters about me being unhappy, personal loans that needed to be repaid to them.
I came across one lovely letter from my brother raking me across the coals for not sending my dad a birthday card. I was 13, he was 17. Mind you this is now the brother that has nothing to do with any family member.
It was boxes of evidence of the dysfunctional family I grew up with. Then I found 4 shoe boxes full of letters from friends and family to me.
One poignant letter stood out. It was a draft that I never mailed to a boyfriend. I had picked up and bolted across the country after my first year of college to rejoin my mom and awful stepdad. They had encouraged me to do this. My letter was about what an awful mistake I had made. My stepdad was drunk, nothing was they had represented. I was struggling to figure out my options including joining the military. I had burnt my bridge with my dad so returning wasn’t an option.
I stopped reading the letters. I don’t have the emotional capacity or time for them right now. I want to read them though because they contain information I have long forgotten.
My dad is sending me two more boxes of such memories including my long lost yearbooks and diaries. Oh boy, there is gonna be some interesting stuff there.
For now, I am putting it all aside. The past is the past. I want to focus on the future.