I used to give my mom grief for being a bit of a pack rat. Partially it was her upbringing…living in near poverty taught her to scrape together everything. If you need it someday, you won’t have to spend money buying it again. As I go through the things in the house (yes, still) I realize that she was more of a sentimental pack rat. I have similar tendencies.

Today went through my baby clothes she kept (!). She didn’t keep all of it, of course, but a bag with some key pieces were in the hall closet. They’d be considered “vintage” now for a fashionable infant.

what the fashionable girls were wearing
what the fashionable girls were wearing

Of course, I don’t remember wearing these. I do have photos of me in them. And for a brief moment, I struggled with whether I should simply keep it all. I am certain my mom held on to a distant hope that someday I would have a daughter and she would wear these.

Other items included religious icons. One has an inscription on the back from someone—it was clearly a gift from 1961. Perhaps it was a wedding gift? In any case, I simply can’t give that away.

Perhaps the hardest part of going through these items and choosing what to keep, what to give away, is that each item has a story. I know I often say these items are just “things.” But I will admit there is a powerful force to them. It is why I like walking through ancient ruins. For many, they are just piles of rocks. For me, there is a power to them.

So for the grief I gave my mom for being a pack rat…an apology.

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