I think it was the week after Hillary died, though it may have been in November, that there was a drive at Isaac's school to take old shoes, linens and clothes. Some company gives the school some amount of money per pound and they take it away.
In our years together, Hillary and I gathered a lot of clothes, shoes, bedding, towels and other such items. Hillary didn't like to throw things away if there was some utility left in them. She also was reasonably sentimental about things in general. More so than I at least.
So stuffed away in nooks and crannies of the house are old sets of sheets, quilts, towels and other goodies that had been removed from active use.
So at another time, in another place, getting that note about the linens drive at the school probably would have prompted Hillary and I to look long and hard at our accumulated stuff.
But seeing it so close to her death, I knew I wasn't in a position to do much. I picked out a bag of the rattiest of towels and some other bedding that was clearly finished and left it at that.
I had Heather help me do a first pass through Hillary's clothes and filled a couple of duffle bags with socks, underwear, destroyed t-shirts, and other clothes that no one would ever want. I put those away as I knew another one of these drives would happen in the spring.
I'm there now.
Those duffles, though I want to go through them again (I won't), are easy. So are a number of sets of sheets that are ancient. There are towels that are coming apart. I have bagged up a bunch of my clothes that I no longer need.
I'm mostly comfortable with this, though I don't look forward to going through her 40-50 pairs of assorted footwear to decide which are truly finished and should go.
But a small part of me is struggling with the same thing that I think Hillary was when a related topic came up sometime in early 2018. Am I throwing away our life together? Am I doing this just to clear out reminders?
I mean, no. I know. But that doesn't change that small voice inside that still hasn't quite accepted the current status quo.
It's just stuff.