We first snorkled more than 50 years ago in a sheltered cove in the Virgin Islands and snorkled in the Caribbean on vacations for years after that. My first snorkeling trip, imitating a fish as I floated quietly in tropical ocean waters with reefs just below, was joyous but blurry. My vision is so bad that unless a fish ate my nose I couldn’t see it. Later, I bought contact lenses solely to see the schools in which I swam. Now, I cannot reach the ocean across the sand with my replacement knees or climb a ladder into a catamaran anchored over a reef. I will not snorkel again. It’s time to trash the snorkel gear.
The high heels bring back memories of my younger daughter’s wedding, a loving verdant affair at which my entire family participated. Love surrounded us all on that warm, light-filled day. Purchased for just that one wedding day, the high heeled sandals complemented the dress I designed and stitched. With age comes fear of falling, arthritis and mobility problems sufficient for a handicapped parking sticker. High heels would be near-certain injury, and I will not wear them ever again. The embrace of shared family joy has faded with deaths and estrangements. Should we live to attend a future family wedding, we will sit quietly–but joyously– in orthopedic tennis shoes while life swirls around us. It’s time to trash my last pair of high heels.
Pie and cookie baking was holiday tradition for our family– cherry, pumpkin and pecan pie made from scratch. I still smile at the stories: my brother and I unable to roll out the crust and laughing uncontrollably; the discovery of the hollowed out pumpkin pie shell after our calico feline discovered how delicious warm pumpkin could be. The last pumpkin pie I made, 9 years ago with my then-11 year old granddaughter was laughingly tossed in the garbage; we forgot the sugar! Increased distractibility, problems with standing for long periods of time, our children’s very busy lives all point to purchased meals and more isolated holidays. It’s time to trash at least three of my four pie pans.
Before downsizing to our senior community, my husband and I brutally discarded hobbies that weren’t to be and books we weren’t going to read. It’s easy to give away these dusty and unused souvenirs, but much harder to let go of the fantasy that we will have another chance at the joy of using them.