The death of my 95-year-young sister-in-law Bonnie Scott and all the details her two sisters Rosalie and Kaye had to go through to send Bonnie safely on her way made me think about my need to put my house in order. I don’t want my wife or children to have to go through what Rosalie and Kaye had to go through with Bonnie.
The first thing is to get rid of all the “stuff” I no longer need, like my many books and cd’s, like all the clothes I’ll never again wear either because it’s out of fashion or it seems to have shrunk over the years, like all the “stuff” I’ve saved on my computer. I’ve already donated a bunch of cd’s to the 4-Paws Animal Rescue. And the books I have on my shelves and all the series of novels by my favorite authors stored in the garage can all go. Instead of trying to sell them, I think I’ll put an ad in the local paper that I have FREE books and cd’s to give away. Knowing the folks in Sun City West and knowing how they’ll show up for anything that’s free, I should be able to get rid of everything. Then they can someday put their own houses in order. Maybe by then I’ll have forgotten my books and will go to their free book giveaway and pick up a few I’ll no longer recognize. As for all the gunk in my computer, I’ll just have to open files to see what’s there and then delete what I no longer need. For the last twenty years I’ve saved all the letters sent and received by relatives and friends. Why? Was I planning one day to go back and read them all? Nearly every joke I’ve gotten on the internet is saved somewhere on my hard drive. Why? Was I planning to go back whenever I needed a laugh?I guess I was saving them in case I ever wanted to send one along with a letter. It’s a very disorderly house, my computer.
The next thing I need to do is to list all the things we want to give to our children and which to whom. And when I think about it, there isn’t that much to list. Most of our belongings don’t have any personal value or familial meaning. I wandered around our house and made my list—jewelry, crystal, paintings by my mother and Rosalie’s father, a few expensive knickknacks, some collectible sets, some small furniture handed down from past generations, and a beautifully carved pheasant given to me when I retired. That’s it. Now we just have to stop buying any more “stuff.”