Some background: We've lived in our house for a few years. It was built in the 40s. It's a townhome. There's not a ton of storage for the amount of stuff we own. We own too much. I just read 7 by Jen Hatmaker and was again convicted that we own too much. While I spend time each summer cleaning out, this year, I'm trying to not only get rid of clutter, but give away some of the excess we own to help people who may not have the luxury of owning too many books. I spent some time today in the basement, sorting.
Sidenote: Looks like 7 is in the Kindle lending library, just FYI. And I'm reviewing another book of Jen's in a few weeks.
|We own how many books, Mommy?|
So anyway, I was cleaning, filling up recycling boxes and trash bags and giveaway bags for "general thrift store," "homeless shelter," "crisis pregnancy center" and "BOOKS."
I trashed a lease from 2001, IMAX tickets from a friend's birthday in 2003, and some kind of user guide for Norton Antivirus that was at least ten years old and last used three computers ago.
And I found a letter.
The letterhead was from the DSANV, our local Down syndrome group. I have received many things on their letterhead over the past few years, but this particular letter was important.
"Dear Matt and Megan, Thank you for contacting us….."
The letter I'd found was the one we received right after we learned Ellie would be born with Down syndrome. With the letter were booklets about Down syndrome, contact numbers, and encouraging words.
I hadn't looked at it in nearly four years. The first time I read it, I did so through tears. In fact, there's a big tear stain right on the folder housing all of the encouraging pamphlets. I reread the letter thankful for how far we've come in this journey.
I sent a Facebook message to the Parent Coordinator who sent it. I remember the information we received having an impact. I remember looking at happy kids on various brochures and thinking, "That's not so bad."
And then, I threw the letter into the recycle bin.
I could have kept it, but I didn't see a need.
My daughter with Down syndrome was in the basement "helping" fold laundry. She was hugging a giant Olaf cutout, and when she found Princess Anna, she began to sing "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?"
I've written in the past about how I don't have pictures of Ellie after open heart surgery - I remember enough. Likewise, I don't need to hold onto an old letter to remember the fear and uncertainty we faced as we waited to meet our daughter.
However, I'm grateful for today as a reminder.