I know why I put it off. It’s been here since August sitting in my garage. After we sold my mother’s house, we went through so many things. The one thing I just could not quite bring myself to empty was her desk—perhaps the most intimate part of her life, where she meticulously kept so many things, pieces of life, pieces of our stories. Surreal, as if time stood still, I opened up some of the things that my mother held most dear. I found my dad’s drafting brush, his lumber crayons, even the last set of pipe cleaners he bought for his pipe. I found my first Bible that I got in Sunday school when I was about 5 or so, with my daddy’s perfect drafting lettering of my name in the front. It was there, meant for me to find. Somehow it was just mine, as I opened up the top drawer. There it was—-my life, too. So uniquely personal what each one of us values.
I always thought my mother wasn’t a saver of things, but everything I found was carefully calculated for me to see just as she planned. She had quite a bit of time to plan just how we found each part of her life—the letters from my dad to her wrapped in a satin ribbon, the pictures organized by date and written on the back so we would know who each one was. But not her desk—her desk was a integral and personal part, her vulnerability and personality captured in each drawer—more so than her makeup or her shoes—and believe me, the woman had a shoe collection!
She had a thing about office supplies and always had plenty as backups. I found them today. Now I know where I get this strange affinity for paper clips. I guess it’s just another day in the life, but today the desk gets moved to a little house on the land where my mother grew up. And I get to put it there. It just seems right.