I've been working on the boxes of paperwork that came in from the garage. I've gone through 6 or 7 boxes so far. I've thrown out a gigantic black bag full of trash, and I've gotten 10 bags of shredables from it all, so it's definitely progress. It's really exciting to know that I won't have to ever sort through the stuff that has gone to the shredables or out the door to the trash. What a relief!
There have been some adorable things I've come across, like Bugster's drawings from when she was tiny. She was just under a year old when she drew her first face, so some of these drawings are absolutely amazing and precious, both. I'm glad I dated so many of them at the time she was drawing them. Some of the cards she made when she was about 5 are precious. She says how much she loves one of us on the front of the card, fills the inside of it with Xs and Os or with hearts to make sure we know they're full of love, and then she writes, "The End" on the backs of the cards.
And right now, I just can't throw them away. If I do ever get to the point I do throw them away, I won't do it before scanning them into the computer, so I have a digital copy of them. They're absolutely precious, and I can't bring myself to part with them just yet.
That being said, I am simply amazed at some of the things I saved over the years. Not only did I hang onto the little pictures Bugster drew, but I can't count how many pieces of paper I came across that only possessed a scribble or two.
I can tell how stressful our lives were at the time each box was packed away based on how many things I find that I failed to give myself permission to throw away. Some boxes correlate withe exceptionally stressful times in our lives and are full of page after page of scribbled papers, proofs of purchases and UPC codes that take up as much as 1/8 of the box of paperwork.
I also realize that I didn't throw a single receipt from a doctor's office over the years, and I kept each explanation of benefits that we received from the insurance companies, as well. I wrote before about not knowing what I was supposed to keep and save from paperwork, and while I have tossed the vast majority of these in the shredables, I wish that I'd at least kept track of the dates of service to put a timeline together of the doctors' visits over the years. It would have been staggering. If nothing else, it would have been interesting to put together a timeline of hospitalizations and trips back and forth to Norfolk, and I still may try to piece one together from the paperwork I've saved, but I am not going to try to dig anything out of the shredables to do so.
I've come across used gift wrap that I found pretty at the time and for whatever reason found irresistible enough to squirrel away. I'm sure some I saved for craft projects, but I allowed myself to let it go. I've already started a second big black bag for trash, and the gift wrap has found it's way to the bottom of the bag.
I know that some of the paperwork has been saved, because I was overwhelmed at the time it was tossed into the box and I didn't have the time to sort through it. Most boxes so far have contained everything from newspaper articles to shut off notices from the utility companies (paying the bills were the last thing on our minds when Scooter and Hopper were in the hospital, and we didn't know, if they were going to come home or not!), to candy wrappers and greeting cards. And none of that really came as a surprise, because it wasn't uncommon for a table or counter's contents to end up in a box when we were getting ready for a birthday celebration or the holidays.
There have been a few things I've found that took me off guard. Like poems I'd written in junior high and high school that make it very obvious looking back that I had depression issues. Like my little red vinyl wallet with the blue heart on the front from elementary school that still had pictures in it of kids I knew growing up. Like mildewed black and white portraits of me, 1 of my sisters and 2 of my brothers that I'd salvaged in the hopes of getting them restored.
But nothing quite prepared me for the last thing I found carefully placed in a sandwich bag....
|Scooter O'Shea's belly button!|