WHAT WE KEEP, WHAT WE THROW AWAY

I have kept letters and diaries from my teenage years,

I have saved photographs and, thankfully, the negatives;

I have four high school report cards, one for each year at Mercy;

I have birth certificates and documents tat belonged

to both parents and my grandparents;

Most of my childhood mementos, scrapbooks and things, were lost when the

shed in which they were stored, in Cincinnati collapsed. precious little of my things, my dolls and scrapbooks, (“my stuff”) was salvaged.

I have valentines and drawings my children made in school,

packed in an old trunk also inside the trunk

there are newspaper clippings;

Elvis dies! Mount St Helen Erupts!

Harry Truman is President! JFK Assassinated!

what I keep is more than this–

I keep people, friendships, memories.

what I throw away is more difficult to define

because I am not a throwing-away kind of person.

when forced to, I donate boxes of books and nick knacks

to charities. I cannot bring myself  to throw away anything

that has any value–whether to myself or someone else.

Sandra Lee Smith/originally written July, 2010/updated May, 2018

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