Brianna sighed and blew a stray piece of hair out of her eyes. Her forehead was damp with sweat, and the problematic strand didn’t go very far. As a matter of fact, it blew out and then swung right back and got tangled in her eyelashes. She sighed and pushed it back, pinning it into place with a clip. Gathering all of her strength, from the inside out, she picked up another stack of moving boxes. She tried not to think of the finality, of everything that came with moving. It was never just as simple as packing your stuff and moving it from one location to another. The process was stressful from start to finish. Especially when you had to do it alone. Especially when it was the end of something that you didn’t really want to end.
In Brianna’s case, it was the passing of her father. Her mother was moving down south, and the home her parents had shared for thirty plus years needed to be split up, shipped out, and sold off. Unfortunately, none of her brothers or sisters decided they had room in their garages for moving boxes full of memorabilia, and so they blew off the reality of all the work by saying, “You take it all, Brianna, whatever you want. We know Dad would want you to have it.” What this meant was that Brianna got to be the one in charge of it all. She got to go through each piece of her past, and decide which pile to put it in. Did it get donated? Did she take it? She wanted so much of it, but at what point do you just have to stop? She wanted to save so much of it for her own children, but how do you choose which things are the most important?
Her mother had run away to Florida shortly after the funeral. Exhausted and traumatized from the swift and violent sickness her late husband had succumbed to, she couldn’t even begin to fathom shutting down her old life. She needed it just to disappear. And that was what Brianna was trying to do. So, little by little, it disappeared into the moving boxes, and some would go down south, and some would go home with her, but most of it would go home with strangers. Maybe that was better. After all, it was just stuff. None of it would bring her dad back, and she wasn’t getting rid of her memories.