I sat in my humid garage opening boxes packed years ago. A collection of mugs primarily assembled by my ex husband. 27 years of marriage, 30 years of history. I unwrapped each cup, acquired either at an event or gifted to him from a friend’s attendance at an event, wiped it clean, tossed the aging, crinkled newspaper and wrote it’s provenance on a fresh box.
They are being donated to an organization that can auction them to good use. As I read them off, I was flooded with memory like the scent in Proust’s famous passage, the feel of each cup and the inscription of where it came from brought me to many moments in my life. The mug from the event in Stamford, Connecticut where my then 11 month old came down with pneumonia and we had to stay over in a hospital with no PICU, shuttling in shifts to sleep with him in the hospital room. The mug from the event in Martha’s Vineyard where a late spring ensured that we would sleep with our coats on and meet the wonderful Dj who later played music for our wedding. The mug from the event at which I was stalked by my not yet husband. The event at which everyone wanted to hold our brand new adopted baby son. The first event with some special women still, or again, in my life.
Mother’s day weekend, and I spent it on a garden stool in my steamy garage re wrapping my history in clean packing paper. And I spent most of the weekend crying, descending back into regret. The way in which my marriage ended broke something in me, and although I have come a long way, I am not entirely mended yet. Being willing to let go of these material things that evoke so much memory and regret is a big step in mending the cracks; in me – the broken cups went to the trash.
And to end on a happy note, my son made Mother’s Day special and brilliant and full of the present.