Melissa is reclaiming a room of the house to turn into a man cave for Tim. Well, more of a study really since Tim lost his man card ages ago.
Anyway, this is an empty nest dividend, a chance to use space that was ignored or allowed to be thrashed during the long years of care giving. To friggin’ enjoy parts of our house in non-care-giving ways.
Today we cleared out two broken down file cabinets. They will be hauled away but oh what they held.
Well, frankly, most of it was trash. Sure, important trash that will need to be shredded. But stuff no longer needed.
Years of mortgage and refi paperwork from trying to strike deals to make ends meet without upending our son’s life.
All kinds of medical insurance stuff as the pursuit of more income, better coverage or simply more time to meet care giving demands worked itself out in an array of job changes and second jobs.
And of course tons of educational and social service type stuff that life with autism generates. IEP “invitations” and outcomes that seemed like the be-all-and-end-all of life at the time. Report cards. Respite care accounting forms. Our son’s participation in a University of California search for autism causes in the environment (no, they didn’t find one). All of those pull-off-the-ends-and-lift-the-sticky Social Security Administration forms.
Not even the tip of this iceberg.
There were a few important things to retain, but by and large the paper trail of our care giving life is heading to the garage in reinforced bags to be handed over to a shredding service.
Then there were some sentimental rescues. Pictures of Joey, class photos from various schools, notes from teachers and others who helped Joey and our whole family over the years.
Those we boxed for various destinations – some for a shinier new file cabinet to come, of course – but others for a scrapbook for Joey. He delights in looking at pictures of past friends, teachers, neighbors and classmates. Will be a joy to bring a collection to grace his new home.
And you can bet that some paper will just live here with us, in wallets and purses, in drawers where we can bump into a memory in the course of daily routines, maybe in albums for us.
I mean, who else will reminisce and smile and maybe shed a sweet tear over a picture of Joey turning his back on the camera… and on Santa?