Felt a little sad today packing up some of Michael’s things. I take it little by slow but every few days I have to deal with something. We did so little when he was sick.

I gave the bulk of his clothing to the Vietnam Vets last week but I probably kept more than I should have. I kept some shirts that were so him (and not just the Harley shirts but some of the dress shirts he wore when we were dating). I kept his Harley leathers and his Harley rain gear. I don’t know why. I just can’t part with it yet.

I have a walk-in closet but still bitched about not having enough room. Yet I can’t bring myself to put any of my clothes in Michael’s dresser or put any in his closet (even thought it’s 90 percent empty.)

He has so much other stuff and I’m trying to find a way to figure out what do do with it. Part of me feels like I’m eradicating him when I think of doing something with it. He was such a packrat and has so much stuff. But so many things that I touched I know he loved and it was exclusively his. Michael would share most things in his life but his things were his things: his fishing stuff, his tools, his golf clubs, Harley stuff and car stuff. He let the kids get away with a lot, but his things were his things.

Chris fixed the garage door using his tools and we were looking through the tools and talking about him in present tense “Well this tool box is where he keeps all his dies and machinist tools. This tool box is where he keeps the regular tools.” and later on Chris asked, “Where does he keep the key to this toolbox?” and I said, “Who knows? You know him, he doesn’t like anyone to touch his tools.”

At one point Chris says, “Do you know if he has a set of bolts for this door? I would think he would.” I almost said, “I don’t know, you’d have to ask him.”

Michael kinda designed the garage that way. No one could figure out where anything was without asking him. Half of the stuff I don’t even know what it is or why we need it. We have two generators. Why? There’s hoses and car parts and ramps and cabinets full of stuff that I couldn’t identify if I was on a game show and the prize for knowing what it was was a million dollars.

We have tool boxes full of regular tools, tool boxes full of machinist tools, tool boxes full of fishing lures, tool boxes full of papers. I have no idea.

Michael loved his “stuff.” While he could live anywhere with 4 walls, a recliner and a TV and not need anything else (okay maybe a microwave), the garage stuff was his STUFF. The stuff he cherished and loved and took care of and organized (unlike everything else in his life).

I’m not ready to do anything with it but thinking about me makes me feel like you are here on this earth and then you are not and eventually your stuff gets dispersed everywhere.

And Michael would hate that.

But I don’t know what else to do with it. I think people should hold onto special things…but to carve out large swaths of space in memoriam is just not healthy, I don’t think. But right now I’m just trying to figure it out.

For now I’m not doing anything but at some point…I have to put more of the present in the past.

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