In undoing the architecture of my late parents' everyday lives and deciding what to discard, was I committing a small act of violence?
Thank you dearly for this story.
I have very recently been going through a similar situation. My mother passed away a couple of months ago and going through the items has been quite the daunting task. There's a weight of responsibility that I wasn't necessarily prepared for. My mother took it upon herself to curate our "family history" in a rather unorganized manner. Spending hours upon hours sifting through items, sometimes it feels easier if you were to just toss it all because then you wouldn't have known if existed in the first place. I found that the most painful piece was uncovering items (especially pictures) that were kept for some unknown reason. Unfortunately I do not know the story behind the handmade set of doilies in this hope chest nor who these people were in the pictures from a 1970s wedding. Worst of all I look up and I no longer have anyone to ask. On the bright side, there are also items I wasn't prepared to uncover that I would now consider family treasures. My own 2nd grade review about my brother's acting debut as Santa Claus in the 5th grade Christmas play comes to mind.
I just hope that I can find a manner by which to pass these memories (and the memories in my own boxes) on to my own children before we get distracted by the tidal wave of modern life.
This is awesome Mr.A. "In such moments, magic lurks." poignant and profound. The stuff that life is made of. The small bolt label reminded me of a television series about a teacher Mr.Novak. In one episode a student read an essay in class describing the loss of her grandfather and finding in his attic a box of string labelled; "Pieces Too Small To Save." Magic indeed!