Living, Loving and Letting Go

October 31, 2010 at 8:14 pm 4 comments

Call it a twist of fate, but on the anniversary of my mother’s death (October 20th) I was feeling blue and leafing through a binder of her poems.  This one caught my eye:

A Matter of Storage

Life is a matter of getting and losing,

Or leaving or giving or throwing away:

Youngsters or kittens or husbands or lovers;

No one was ever intended to stay,

In your orbit forever (enough of such gloom!)

Otherwise, wouldn’t you run out of room?

As many did over the course of Mom’s long career, I read the lines once and chuckled, again and, well, nearly shed a tear, then thrice and started waxing philosophic.  Was she talking to me, in the here and now, as I dealt with my lingering sorrow over her death?  Was the deeper message in this supposedly light verse that everything is ephemeral—things, animals, people and ideas—even life itself?  It certainly seemed so. 

Moving from the poetic to the prosaic:  I say ‘twist of fate’ because that very weekend my husband and I finally admitted our garage had become overloaded, and spent a Saturday morning trucking our accretion of stuff to a self-storage locker.  As Mom had written, we’d run out of room.  But instead of throwing away our supposed treasures we just stashed them nearby and signed a monthly rental contract so we could come visit and play with them.

Okay, yes—definitely:  A Matter of Storage is really about the concept of coveting.  And it describes my mother’s ideals to a tee.  Though well off my most measures, she was far from materialistic, took pleasure in simple things, and was philosophical about the marriages, friends, acquisitions, successes and failures life ushered in and out of her life.  She lived, loved and was happy.  She knew how to let go. 

In so many ways, I guess I’m still learning.


Entry filed under: I Hate to Cook Book. Tags: , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jim Goodrich  |  October 31, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    That was so touching, Jo, on so many levels. Thank you for sharing it.

  • 2. Sandy Abernathy  |  November 1, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Jo, I’m still learning too. Your thoughts reflect on how so many of us feel as we venture thru life, and how we deal with getting or loosing. When I read the part about “Throwing away”, it took me to the time she advised me when I first became a Newspaper Columnist and becoming a Freelance Writer. Your Mother said to me, “If you are willing to write and write, and throw away and throw away, and write some more, you will make it!” In her poem, I also took the Throwing Away” meaning, to me, negative thoughts and to look for the good and positive. She was such a loving, classy person. Just like you my friend. Thank you for sharing all your thoughts with the rest of us.

  • 3. Neal Thomas  |  November 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Sometimes giving things away can be as painful as losing things… I finally got rid of my giant tube TV (circa 2001) and in hauling it off to Goodwill I managed to damage several body parts. My wrist, my shoulder, my back and finally while unloading at Goodwill, I managed to smash my thighs under the TV. So bruised and pained I returned home, but somehow I felt fantastic knowing that if I ever move I won’t be moving that monstrosity again!

    Thankfully physical pain is usually ephemeral, unfortunately emotional pain can linger as long as we want and sometimes longer than we want. But gosh darn it sometimes it just feels good to cry!

  • 4. Sue Mosher  |  October 17, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    I have such a task ahead of me in my garage. And I am approaching it differently now, much like your Mom. Letting go is so therapeutic. Thanks for sharing her poem. She had such a way with words… I loved her recipes and her philosophy on life. I am glad you are continuing with your own thoughts and excellent writing.


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