Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Laundry Basket

The other day, I tackled something that had become an obstacle. Instead of making a mountain out of a molehill, I made a mountain out of a laundry basket in the closet.
When I looked at that pile of clothes, I realized that I didn't feel busyness or laziness, I felt fear. And this is why:

After Dave went back to Iraq in August, I washed and folded his clothes, and put them in the closet in the laundry basket. At the time, I thought, how sad it was to put his clothes away. I will do it later. So the "deal with it later" basket was born. Over time, I added shirts that needed ironing, summer clothes that needed to be packed away, socks that needed matching, and on and on, until the pile grew large enough to fill several laundry baskets, and I kept running out of socks. I would look at the basket, and tell myself every negative thing I could think of, to support the fear.

Finally, I felt feisty enough to fight. I sorted my clothes, and put them away. As I got to Dave's clothes, I understood, the laundry basket is not the monster in the closet, the sadness is. I was afraid to face the sadness. I cannot imagine how hard it is to box up the clothes of a loved one after they have passed away. The sadness of putting away his clothes is nothing compared to that. Still, it occured to me that I could have asked for help. If I had asked a friend to talk to me while I put away his clothes, sure, they might have found the request odd, but they would have been there for me.

At the bottom of the laundry basket, I found a sweatshirt that I had missed since July. And I found that I'm just a bit stronger and smarter than I had been.

1 comment:

Minda said...

Whoa. Talk about dealing with the skeletons in your closet.

Beautiful post.