Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Pile

The other night I spent over an hour sifting and sorting a paper pile to find a document Kraig needed for taxes. I figured I might as well take the time to sort while I was searching, and might, as a result, actually file those stupid papers! The night resulted in filed papers...and I even found the desired document--on the top of a totally different pile (and the information on it was something I could have told Kraig off the top of my head, but didn't realize what he needed from it!). Sigh!

So the papers are filed (except one part I'll touch on later), and I can start my stash all over again. Because, knowing me, there will be a stash. It doesn't matter that we actually have files in a filing cabinet all nicely set up and organized so that theoretically every paper that comes into this house could go immediately into the correct file. To paraphrase (and butcher) Robert Frost, "Something there is in Loren's nature that loves a pile." I'd have to add that Loren herself does not like piles. Piles are stressful, annoying objects, and when they are gone, Loren is light as a feather, free as the wind, blissful as.... Okay, enough talking in third person and waxing eloquent (or not so).

The reality is that despite the fact I feel released and refreshed when a pile is gone, I also know that they will always be a part of my life. Maybe I have piles for that very reason--so that I can look forward with anticipation to the time when there will not be a pile. The same is true for the days when the house is in chaos. I know that at some point in time, we'll all pull together and clean, and for a little while the house will look great. And I anticipate that time with great pleasure; but knowing it in my head and actually acting on it so that I can experience the joy of no piles or a clean house seem to be two entirely different beasts.

So I live with piles. Part of the pile-problem stems from the fact that there are things that I don't have a particular place for, or I just can't part with the pile-item. This was the case the other night when, despite 90% of my initial pile getting nicely filed away or tossed, there was a remaining 10% that sat there, and still sits. It is, apparently, my Friends and Relations Pile, because a lot of what is in it is people stuff. Cards, photos, personal notes. It has a lot of Keren in it.... I kept stumbling across old medical reports and documents, IEP reports, school handbooks. On one hand one could say, "Well, that's done. Toss it. Who needs a list of all of Keren's doctors, after all?" But that's the cold, logical, strictly reasonable part. I was not feeling in any way logical as I happened across piece after piece of our life with Keren and realized again, each time, "I don't need this because Keren is not here." And so I set it aside because I couldn't think about it just then. I didn't want to deal with it, and I in no way, shape or form wanted to throw it away, because it would be throwing away a memory, or worse. It would be denying myself the chance of ever stumbling across it again....

That is one reason I have piles. I can't, yet, let go. I know I am moving forward, and that God is continuing to move our family forward. I know that He used Keren's life to shape us into who we are today so that He can use us in His next great thing. I've know this in my head since I read Isaiah 43:18 & 19, days after Keren died:
Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
I am excited about the "new thing" and I'm anticipating it with a sense of expectancy. I know that it will be beautiful, and wonderful beyond anything I can imagine. I know that Keren and her life had a part and purpose in it.... But I am not ready to get to work and clean up so that I can get to that place.

My pile is comfortable because I know it well.

I wonder what I'll have to go searching for to get rid of my pile.

1 comment:

  1. I can identify with your feelings about Keren's things. I, too, fear losing the memory. I saved the cards and things sent to me when I got my cancer diagnosis for over two years. Then, one day, I decided I didn't need them any more. Other things from the past . . . the divorce . . . my time at Faith Academy . . . are each in their own little boxes in a closet. They were watershed experiences that I don't want to lose. So my pile moved to a pretty box that's in a closet. If I need to remember, I know where to go.

    You may keep your pile as long as you need it, even if it is forever.