How small and pitiful and finite a woman’s life seems when you go to clean out her closets. What seems overburdened from previous times wherein you caught a glimpse turns out to have been parsimonious. How small the wants and desires of so grand a life seems now? A treasure trove of items some of which you would never have expected to find in the woman as you once knew her. Keepsakes that defy any ability to discern their inherent worth. Dried flowers from a corsage that once meant something special that one must exhume from the deepest piles of dust. That bag of odds and ends of makeup that represents the day when she gave up on ever looking cosmetically attractive because of course, she was too old for anyone to care any further. Shoes that fit overwhelmed by so many past styles in sizes that could no longer accommodate old swollen feet. Purses both utilitarian for every day use sharing the same coating as those tucked away fro special occasions. Colorful tote bags that were saved in lieu of an older forsaken custom of doing same with spent wrapping paper. The full length mink that looks no different today than the day when she received it. The car coat that you routinely helped her into before you both left the house. You shake a sachet and her favorite scent inspires you for a moment to think that she may be near once again. But you are long over that notion now. The house seems lonelier now. All the ‘bric a brac‘ of previous decades each a bit or piece of high times and those in-between that for the detritus of bygone lives meaningful only special for those left behind to mourn.
That is when you suspect that you are truly old heading towards the eventuality of spent. Too many memories to get in the way of the short path ahead. The rattle of these few things that sentiment demands that you keep for a while longer dry bones of things irretrievably past. How so many trivial moments wasted in past times are envied. If only one could share but a few happy moments more with bounteous appreciation to offer those that you now so sorely miss. Their imagined greatness now humbled by the scant odds and ends of the paltry collection of items that have survived them. One wonders about the futility of one’s own hoard and how meaningless it will one day seem to someone else perhaps appreciating you through a picture haphazardly painted. The greatest of one’s accomplishments merely something for the thirst store at best or a quick unceremonious burial in a dumpster headed for the trash. To look out over the horizon of endless domiciles in the night. Each with their overstuffed closets and shelves and wonder how many others take up this unavoidably melancholy ritual. A rite of passage that most if not nearly all at some point shared. The passing of the generations that leaves you the only one left to turn out the lights upon the glory and wonder of that which once was but shall never be again.