Friday, September 12, 2008

What I Take

Nola alerted me to Moondance's meme of what would you take for an evacuation. There's rules:
1. Tell us what five things you would take with you from your home if you had to evacuate for a storm or forest fire or other emergency, and there was a chance you couldn't come back.

2. Include a link to this post, and pass on this list of instructions.

3. Leave a comment below, so we can find your post.

4. Think of something you can do for someone who actually had to make that decision in real like, and share that idea with us, too.

5. Tag three or more people to pass it on.

But, well, play along only if you wish. I always feel weird tagging someone.

For me, what to take is relatively simple.

  1. Important documents that are a pain in the ass to recreated, birth certificates, marriage certificates, insurance papers, etc.
  2. Phone book, school directory, and my personal phonebooks, i.e. my cell phone and computer, complete with chargers.
  3. Books, toys, and clothes for the kids and I. The husband remains behind to staff the hospital.
  4. The dog, her food, and leashes.
  5. Family photos that aren't in digital form.
I'm not a big thing person. Memories aren't attached to items in my house. My memories are in photographs, so many of them now on archival discs. Everything else is replaceable.

As for how I could help someone make that decision in real life? I think of my mother, who declares she's not leaving for anything. My sister and I have discussed that one day we might have to make her leave, putting us in the position of what to take.

My minimalist view would have her taking just what I stated above. Yet, I'm keenly aware that if my mother were to lose some of the items in the house that remind her of my father she would not be sane for a long time. Would taking the flag and bullet casings from his funeral be enough? What about his flight helmet? What about all the photos we have of him around her house? How could we take every surface graced by his presence in a car with us? It isn't possible. So, she would not leave, and we might lose her, too.

As I penned this in my mind last night, I did not intend to bring my grief. This small monster in my life creeps into the cracks of my veneer when I let my guard down. I suppose it is time for a new coat of paint.


nola said...

Funny how our lists look so similar. "Things" tend to be left behind with little thought. Sorry it brought back so sorrow for you.

Moondance said...

I wonder if your mom might surprise you, and know that she carries all she needs of your dad's memory in her heart? I am actually surprised at how practical people have been - it seems it really is easy to leave it all behind - even when you know it could be real.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Things are small in my mind, too. My pets, my photos, papers and laptop would be the main things.