Ephemera

September 1, 2009

In the last year of my parents’ marriage, my dad had an affair. I’ve always known this, my mom has always known this, it was something that we all talked about, in later years: his regret, his remorse, over this thing he had done, its effect on my mother, its effect on our family, the fact that it led to a divorce that nobody wanted and that everybody regretted and that remained the great tragedy (and yet in some ways the great gift; this is a complicated story among many complicated stories, best left for another day) of both my parents’ lives.

He had an affair, and we knew it. But the fact that we knew it, and that we knew he regretted it, did not lessen the emotional blow of finding letters from this woman among his things.

It was my mother who found them, of course. I found the innocuous things, and the bizarre things,  the wonderful things – the pipe cleaners, the stash of pot, the robot – yes, the robot – and some terrible things – the suicide note from fifteen years ago, the agonized letters to my sister and I apologizing for his imagined failures as a father – but it was my mother who found these, these love notes from another time and another place, these pages that my father would have least wanted her to see of all his pages, all the pages of his story. We cried together, she and I, after she found them. We cried, and then I said all the right things about how that had been such a brief period, such a blip in a much longer history, and, too, how depressed he had been, what a mistake it was, how he had said so, how he had insisted so, and as I spoke it seemed to me – me, so spooked these days – that the very air rippled with tension and I wondered whether I was saying the right things, the truthful things. Had it been nothing? Had it just been a relationship borne out of his depression, a symptom of other problems, of deeper issues that had nothing to do with love? Or had it been more, something more, even for a moment?

Later, we found pictures of this woman. He had wrapped them in multiples layers of packing paper, and taped them up, tightly, and shoved them in a plastic shopping bag and stashed it at the back of his closet, under a bundle of old clothes, hidden, as though he couldn’t bear to be reminded of them, as though he very much wanted to forget them, but couldn’t bear to throw them away. My mother didn’t look at them. She turned away and said, trash them. Toss them in the dumpster. Trash them. And then she left the room.

I wrapped them back up in their paper and put them back in the shopping bag and tucked them back in the closet. I will trash them later, I thought. With the letters that I had stashed in my pocket. Later.

Later never came.

The pictures are still stashed in that bag, in the closet. I’ve been working around them, packing things away, taking things to Goodwill, sifting and sorting through the stuff of my father’s life. I’ve been working around them, pretending that they aren’t there, because I don’t know what to do with them. Do I throw them away? I can understand totally my mother’s desire that they be thrown away. I would desire that they be thrown away, if I were my mother, if it were the love of my life who had received such letters and retained the pictures of their author. I do desire that they be thrown away, or at least, that childish part of me that wishes to deny that part of my father’s history desires that they be thrown away. But therein is the rub: now that my father is gone (so suddenly gone, so absolutely gone), I recoil at the idea of denying any part of his history, any thing – any word, any image – that forms any part of the history that made him him. I don’t know whether or not he loved that woman. In a way, it doesn’t matter whether or not he loved her. She was part of his life for a short time and for whatever reason he chose to not erase her memory, entirely. So I feel – I think – that I should not erase her memory. For whatever reason. For whatever it’s worth.

So I have these pictures, and these letters, and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to keep them, but it feels wrong, somehow, to just throw them away.

I have these pictures, and these letters, and I don’t know what to do.

(What would you do?)

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    { 105 comments }

    sympathetic September 2, 2009 at 3:06 am

    If he so openly regretted the descision he made, it may be the just reason he still had them. He may not have forgiven himself and kept them as a reminder of the guilt. It may have seemed easier to him to sweep it under the rug, per say, and deal with it when he was ready. I honestly don’t think your father put any thought into the fact that someone (you, or your mother for that matter) would be finding these things he had hidden. If such thoughts ever crossed his mind, then he would have gotten rid of it himself knowing the emotional wounds would be reopened.
    Even after all the comments made to your blog you will never truely know the real reason he kept them…..does that part really matter? You need to figure out the meaning these items will have for you and then you will figure out the answer of your keeping them. Good luck!!

    Monica September 2, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Throwing away the clothes your father left in his closet isn’t denying the memories you have of him wearing them, and throwing away these letters and pictures isn’t denying the piece of his history that they represent.

    Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com September 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I had a similar situation come up with a relative who passed away once.

    We tossed the photos and the letters. In the end, we decided together that the relative would not have wanted us to keep anything that would tarnish or blemish our memory of the better times with them. So we made an effort to contact the individual who had written the letters in case they wanted to hang on to them, which they did not, and then we tossed them.

    I have never regretted it, not for a minute.
    .-= Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com´s last blog ..gDiapers!  (my unsolicited review) =-.

    mamalang September 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    You don’t have to get rid of them right now, but you should get rid of them. How will you feel in 10 years when your daughter accidently discovers them and wants to know what they are? Do you want to share this information with her? If not, then you have to get rid of them at some point. (and if you want her to know, that’s okay, too…only you can decide what you want her to know about this whole situation.)
    .-= mamalang´s last blog ..I’ve been to a Swedish wonderland and a circus today =-.

    Colleen - Mommy Always Wins September 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Those would be the sort of things I’d wrap up and stash away in my own home – somewhere I wouldn’t see them unless I wanted to – somewhere they could stay until I was ready to get rid of them or find them a new home. It might not sound logical, and keeping them might make you feel guilt, too, but time does heal…
    .-= Colleen – Mommy Always Wins´s last blog ..Camping: nature’s way of promoting the motel industry. =-.

    kittenpie September 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I don’t really have an answer, it’s a tough question, but something to consider: if they are in your possession when something happens to you one day, be it sooner or later, who will go through your things and find them, and what will they in turn make of them? if it might be your mother, it could feel to her like betrayal, I would imagine. Just a factor to think on as you work it out.
    .-= kittenpie´s last blog ..I’ve Heard of Nightingale Dropping Cream, but… =-.

    pnuts mama September 2, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    if you decide to be rid of them, i have found that burning stuff such as this has a cleansing and healing effect when the time is right.

    when i went through my parents house after my mom died (where we still live) i found there were times when i just couldn’t deal with what was in front of me- so i would close up the box or drawer or closet and move on. the next time, sometimes it would be ok, sometimes not. nearly nine years later there are still a few drawers etc that remain untouched, but mostly, i’ve been able to heal through the majority of it. and do with it what needed to be done.

    peace to you as you journey through this.
    .-= pnuts mama´s last blog ..pnuts_mama: i have decided that today needs a do-over. aaand: done. =-.

    kgirl September 2, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Keep em, and don’t ever look at them again. Keep them forever if you need to, or one day, throw them out when you feel you can. Even the wonderful reminders can cause pain.
    .-= kgirl´s last blog ..Top Ten Tuesday =-.

    sue September 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Keep them. Who knows. Getting rid of them is one of those things you can’t undo and I hate regrets.
    .-= sue´s last blog ..Thank goodness my mom brought over some kleenex =-.

    bea September 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    In the basement of my parents’ house, I have a Rubbermaid box full of the detritus of my first marriage: the wedding album, the letters, a few other things I couldn’t bring myself to throw away. In ten years I’ve never felt the need to open that box, but it feels more right for that box to be there than for that painful episode of my life simply to be thrown in the garbage.
    .-= bea´s last blog ..Weird =-.

    Faith September 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Keep them with the letters until you are ready and then burn them all. Assuming this is okay with your mom. If it’s not, chuck them all right now.

    Mandee September 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I’ve sort of been in your mom’s shoes–as much as a 20 year old who has lost the love of her short life can stand in your mom’s shoes. We had been broken up for over a year, but his parents invited me to go with them to clean out his apartment. We found several notes and pictures from several different girls.

    I don’t know why I was able to laugh about it. Perhaps because I could tell myself that these were all girls he dated since we broke up (not the truth); perhaps it was the absurdity of a receipt for a “pastel rainbow” cummerbund and tuxedo rental indicating he’d been willing to accompany somebody to the prom. I kept the things that were personal to our relationship and let the rest go.

    Keep whatever feels right and don’t worry about propriety. Grief is a long, strange road, and I’m all for you having every available navigation tool at your disposal.
    .-= Mandee´s last blog ..Miss Connie =-.

    Jae September 2, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Ages ago, someone wise, very wise I know now, told me, in FRENCH, a saying that goes like this: “Sometimes the burden of marriage is so heavy it takes three to carry it.”

    Your father is now speechless, his voice is gone, and by throwing all that away, you silence him further. It’s a part of his history, his story and who knows, one day you may find yourself in such a situation: Falling in love lust need with someone and not knowing why OR watching someone else try to heal themselves with another love lust need OR who knows.

    Your mother is very much alive and has her view, her voice, her say and it’s all overlayed with her anger and betrayal. Justified I can’t say really for there is no way to know the full and total details of their marriage or lives.

    Yet, all of us wish and want to be known and if you love your father, he would want you to know, to understand and love him anyway. How would you feel if it was your mother that had the affair? It’s sad the affair caused a divorce no one wanted, I know several couples that got through an affair and went on to be happy again.

    You will have to be brave, the temptation to bowdlerise his life is strong. Now you can learn to know your father as a person too. You have made comments on his tendency to stay silent and hide away, maybe there are tons of reasons why this man chose to live like this but here, he’s trying to speak and let people close, warts and all!

    Good luck,
    Jae

    Carm September 2, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I think you should bury them.

    Have a small ”ceremony” for them, in a park, or anywhere that you feel is right, or righter than other places. Lay that part of history to rest, and give that part of his life the respect it deserves. Because while the other woman doesn’t necessarily deserve respect, and the affair doesn’t, it WAS part of his life, your life, your family’s life. Part of history. And I think by laying it to rest, with dignity, might help you heal.

    Mommy X September 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    They were part of his history…maybe not the nicest part…but a part of it anyway!

    I think you need to keep them and in time you’ll know what to do with them.

    The answer will come to you…it always does!
    .-= Mommy X´s last blog ..X Rated =-.

    Kim September 2, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    I would keep them …

    My Mom just died and parting with anything is very painful for me right now. I cried when I had to get rid of her clothes and shoes…
    I decided to hold on to the rest of the things till I knew what to do with them and it didn’t hurt so much anymore.
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..We Will Remember – Project 2996 =-.

    Rachel September 2, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    This isn’t the same, but I am keeping the pictures of my first, deep love. They’re mixed in with the pictures of freshman year in college, but they’re there. Someday I’ll talk to my kids about him and what I learned and how I felt. Sharing my history may help them. And as you know, it’s part of me.

    Theresa September 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Closure is an often over-used word, but in this case, I do not think you will find that sense of peace believing you have some sort of obligation to give those letters and photos a second thought. She may have meant something to him, but that has nothing to do with you. Simply throw them out and move on.
    .-= Theresa´s last blog ..WARNING: This Post Contains Serious Self-Doubt =-.

    Dawn September 2, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I just lost my absolutely adored, beloved grandfather, who helped raise me, yesterday, and I am headed up to his funeral tomorrow. I am in that same raw emotional place of ‘everything means so much when there won’t be anything else of him’. So I totally understand what you’re dealing with. Hell I can’t even stand to wash the shirt I was wearing when I last saw my grandfather alive.

    Even so I am going to give you this as my advice, for whatever it’s worth. I would pack up the letters and photos and anything else that is private or questionable (anything he wouldn’t want the grandkids to see someday for example.) I would hold onto it somewhere like my attic for a year, without opening it again. And on the anniversary of his death, after dark, all by myself, I would quietly burn it all and use it as an opportunity to talk to him and tell him how you’re doing and feeling since he’s been gone. It would be a fitting, respectful, and private way to honor his memory and acknowledge what were, for him, obviously very difficult emotions.

    Good luck with this, I am so, so sorry for your pain.

    Rhonda September 3, 2009 at 12:13 am

    They should probably be thrown away at some point-but who’s to say when that is? You will know when the time is right, you will know when it’s time to let go of that part of his life. Still thinking of you and praying for you!
    .-= Rhonda´s last blog ..Sorry for the wait M’am! =-.

    lynn @ human, being September 3, 2009 at 1:20 am

    I’d burn them in some sort of ritual, letting all of that energy be released. Throwing them away feels very impersonal. Burning them in ritual is a way of honoring your father–all parts of who he was–while honoring your mother’s wishes.
    .-= lynn @ human, being´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Prophylactic =-.

    Bec September 3, 2009 at 10:03 am

    It sounds like he was torn with the same indecision about what to do with the items and for whatever reason he held onto them. It seems like he was he was tormented by it all even though he hung onto those things which he himself treated like he was ashamed of but hung onto nonetheless. Maybe he lacked the strength to let go of it–but needed someone to help free him from it. He has passed, the affair has passed. He is being buried (or cremated) and grieved. Maybe read through the things (like in the movie Bridges of Madison County) to answer anything you may have been craving to have answer–to give you peace. If it will help you heal by going through the things, then do so. Otherwise, I fully support disposing of these items which seem to symbolize soooo much pain for the survivors–and even for your dad himself. Symbolically destroying this evidence might help put the whole thing at rest and help him rest in peace….

    lb September 3, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    If I could get in touch with the woman, I might send them to her, otherwise, I would throw them out. Where would I even keep such a thing? If an object is not going to be used, looked at, enjoyed, then what is its purpose? A pile of letters and photos that would make me feel sad every time I stumbled across them in their box in the basement? I would say my life would be better off without them. Keep the things that make you feel happy. Find something that makes you smile when you think of your dad, and find a place in your home where you will see it often. Throw away the rest.

    Kathleen September 3, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    I have not read all 73 comments so, if this is repetitive, I apologize.
    How amazing that you are sharing such a grief with us and that you ask what we would do. The mere question at a time when I am not sure I would be functional has me compelled to respond.
    Being the wife in a similar situation to your mother, and having a daughter who may someday learn about the volcano that almost ended my marriage, I wonder what I would want her to do.
    My first response – which usually holds more truth for me than if I over analyze – was to look at them, read them, embrace this part of your Dad, your Mom and their relationship, its rippling effect on the rest- then give them up to the universe in a blessedly small bonfire.
    Ashes to ashes…much love and peace to you, your Mom and your whole family – including your Dad.

    Sharon - Mom Generations September 3, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I would keep them. There is a world of discovery in those letters… a discovery of your Dad from an entirely new/different perspective, from the heart and hands of someone who saw a piece of your Dad’s soul from her eyes. There may come a time when these letters and photos mean something to you, and to throw them away ends every possibility of this. Your Dad kept them, and I guess I think that this knowledge is enough. They MEANT something to someone who means so much to you.

    S. September 4, 2009 at 9:02 am

    I would burn them.

    (If everyone kept all the stuff of his parents – how big will the pile be after three generations?…)

    Annie September 4, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Ugh. So difficult. I would try to hear the voice of my dad in my head and heart, and hear what he would want. I tend to believe that he’s in a place that is pretty much shed of earthly material connections, but never shed of his connection to his loved ones. The letters? What would he say? Maybe he’d want to protect your mom’s interest at this point, I don’t know. Maybe you could hear him say to you, “Cathy, all I care about is…” Fill in the blank. Anyway, I’m sending love to you now, in this decision, and all others.

    Pando September 4, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I’m way behind on reading right now, but I wanted to just stop by and say that I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs.
    I have no idea what I would do with the letters. The ritualistic burning idea is an interesting one. Or maybe just bury them. Literally.
    .-= Pando´s last blog ..Sometimes you just have to do it. =-.

    Rhonda September 4, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    My brother died unexpectedly last year and I don’t think that death means that we are entitled to know all of a person’s secrets. If it was clear that a person did not mean for something to be seen, then I think out of respect for the deceased, you dispose of it.

    porter September 4, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    i’d keep them for now, somewhere out of the way and decide later. why do you have to decide now? for some reason you don’t feel you should/can toss them so don’t. take some pressure off yourself and just put them somewhere..deal with that later.

    Heather Cook September 5, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I would keep them, I’m not sure why but I think there’s something there about honoring a person – even their mistakes. I don’t think we truly live without making a lot of mistakes…

    sara September 6, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I would make an art piece out of them. Keep them and have this piece of my father’s history, but in a form that others wouldn’t recognize or become offended by them. A secret that you share with yourself.
    .-= sara´s last blog ..World Travels…Vintage Hatbox =-.

    Amanda September 6, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Going through my mother’s stuff after her death was healing and heartbreaking. Watching her things leave (taken by family members, donated or thrown out) was painful. I think some of it was thrown out too soon, but ultimately I feel that the stuff of hers was just that. Stuff. Her journals and pictures of HER, or the scrapbooks she created have meaning to me. The rest is simply stuff. Some of it is meaningful (jewelry given to her or that she wore often) or comforting (such as letters or cards she sent to me) but none of it fills the whole left be her death.

    Take your time to decide what to do with it, but I think I’d throw it out. As others said it may have been a part of his story but the meaning of it creates pain for you. Keep the best of your father, honor the rest, but don’t hold onto stuff that causes you pain.

    Sarcastica September 6, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I have no idea what I would do with them…none at all. I…I don’t know. I guess I would do the same thing to them that I had done with the other important pieces of his life, the other letters and memory things. Perhaps I would store them in a box, along with those other things, and put it somewhere…out of site, but still there?

    But I don’t know, because I can’t know…because I’m not in that situation?

    I’m not very helpful :(
    .-= Sarcastica´s last blog ..I Is Kreativ =-.

    Jenna September 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    I would keep them. I would try to find her and send her them, without a note. If I couldn’t find her easily (too much effort to find her would make me feel like I needed some kind of response from her and getting that involved with her would not be good for my mental health), I would probably study them for a few weeks and them burn them. Or throw them away. I wouldn’t want my children to find them someday, without me to answer their questions for them.
    .-= Jenna´s last blog ..The good, the bad and the….. you know. =-.

    Allison September 6, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Good grief, what does one DO? I’d toss them, but then lie awake at night wondering about them and the fact that only my eyes had seen them and I’d be recounting to people in later years all about the details of the photos.

    Yeesh, there’s really no good answer is there? Sucky all around.

    Belle September 8, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Is that woman still around? Or is there any contact information for her?? Sending them to her may be a good compromise… you’re not throwing any part of his history away, just giving it to someone who would be tortured less by it. All of the other options (throwing away or keeping yourself) are too hard… although I feel like I would throw away. You don’t know till you’re in that situation though…

    LAVENDULA September 8, 2009 at 11:09 am

    hi catherine i’m sorry about your dad.i would put them in my own closet and when i KNEW what i had to do with them then i would take the action neccessary…..

    Karla September 8, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Ditto Lavendula. My dad died 14 yrs ago and my Mom is in the late stages of dementia. I’ve spent the last five years cleaning out their home of 40 yrs until I’m down to just 4 bins that I can’t bare to part with. Keep the photos/letters for now. There may come a time when you’re ready to throw them away, but keep them for now.
    So sorry for your unexpected loss. Be kind to yourself.

    Amanda September 8, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I would, as with anything I hesitate throwing out even though I know I should, bite down hard and pitch them in a place from which I cannot retrieve them— like ripping off a band aid. Done, anything else seems too rife with pain.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Is that you? =-.

    maggie September 8, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    throw them out – keeping them is a dis-service to your mother and a betrayal of your mother. she asked you to throw them out and you should. ask yourself this – if she found them and found out you did not toss them, how would you feel?

    Adventures In Babywearing September 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I don’t know if you’ve made your decision yet, but I wouldn’t throw them away. I’d maybe keep them secret still, but I do believe it is part of his story. I just think about my own life and things NO ONE else could possibly know, but just because they are hidden doesn’t make them part of me. And I guess it wouldn’t matter what happens to stuff after we’re gone, but if you wanted to hang on to him and his story, I would hang on to those things, too.

    Steph

    @marymac September 10, 2009 at 11:05 am

    I have a very similar situation- I once asked my dad if I had any half-siblings I didn’t know about- awkward family conversation for sure. I think, like you, it is hard to get rid of it if it was part of him. I wouldn’t be able to help trying to find her. But throwing something away is so permanent, while tucking it away leaves options. Good thoughts your way.
    .-= @marymac´s last blog ..Putting the Labor in Labor Day =-.

    Anon September 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I would get rid of them. But I am not much for holding onto others’ photos (photos taken by and owned by other people).

    Confession I have never shared (thus the ‘anon’ bit): When my frail elderly dad collapsed and I cleaned out his place, I found polaroids he had taken of my mom in the early years of their marriage … innocent photos, many with us children in them (“family photos?”) but all of them photos that involved my mom in various stages of deshabille. Imagine a mom stepping out of the shower, for example, her young kids rushing over toward her as she reached for a towel.

    I had known these photos existed, I knew my mother had not wanted them snapped, I had not known he still had them (nor, indeed, that they still existed) literally decades after my parents’ divorce. Except for knowing that my mother hadn’t wanted them taken (a big except), they captured lovely, fond memories of my early childhood. In the end, I mentioned them to no one. Not my mother — why dig this up again? Not my brother (ditto, more or less, though he is younger and I’m not 100% sure he knew about these pictures’ existence), not anyone, and I threw them away. Into the “shred it” bin at work. It saddened me on one level but on another seemed the right thing to do.

    liz September 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Burn or bury them.
    .-= liz´s last blog ..Joy =-.

    Amanda of Shamelessly Sassy September 11, 2009 at 12:40 am

    I would keep them because I am a strange creature that has a tendency to keep even the most hurtful of things.
    .-= Amanda of Shamelessly Sassy´s last blog ..I Don’t Want my Armpit to Smell like a Tropical Breeze. =-.

    stephanie September 11, 2009 at 5:10 am

    I am sorry for your loss and for the confusion and strife it has brought, thank you for sharing your struggle. I can’t and wouldn’t even begin to try to help out here, it is obvious to me at least through your writing that you have an answer and it is clouded with pain right now and it will come to you and it will never seem like the right answer because seriously it wasn’t the right answer for your Dad and so when your head and your heart are not knotted so tight that even breathing is hard, it will come to you and you will do what you decide is best. I commend you for your naked truth stories and appreciate the freedom you give all of your readers to feel their own pain by reading yours. I will have you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Sincerely,
    Stephanie

    Jessica Ashley (Sassafrass) September 11, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    One of the greatest pains of leaving a marriage that ended with my husband’s infidelity was knowing that one day my son would piece it all together, would have to deal with the aftermath of an affair that I had already (hopefully) long moved forward from.

    I ached for him. I still do. It pains me that his father chose to pursue a bright, shiny, new relationship rather than give any effort whatsoever to the family he already had. His father. His role model. His protector.

    I am not sure that my wounds from being cheated on will ever completely heal. I am OK with that. I am happier now, my life is fuller and healthier. Yet and still, whenever the curiosity rises about *her*, I remind myself that it was really about *him*, about the husband and father who turned his back on the people who loved him most.

    So that is what I offer to you…Your father’s affair was not about the woman in the picture. I understand the curiosity and maybe even the thread of connection to your father, who I am so sorry is no longer walking this planet with you. But really, all that history is just about your dad.

    You don’t need a picture to hold on to that connection or pain or heartache or questions or curiosity or love or any of it. If I was your girlfriend, I would tell you to look and then let it go.

    It’s your dad you want to hold on to. Not her.
    .-= Jessica Ashley (Sassafrass)´s last blog ..Apparently, my son has ice skating moves =-.

    Jessica September 13, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    I can actually answer this due to having had to make such a decision: I tossed them. They weren’t love letters from an ex, but love letters from my dad to my mother; obsessive, narcissistic, sexual letters from a young man to his lady love.

    The letters were evidence of the bad man he was going to become, so that decision was fairly easy.

    I got hitched up on what to do with his baby teeth and lock of baby hair so carefully preserved by his mother in an envelope. These were from when he was an innocent baby and it crushed me to the core that there was no one on this planet that wanted these things and that I was crumpled on my floor sobbing over these tiny little items in my palm.

    I ultimately decided to keep a few things from my father’s boxes that represented the boy he was, before he ever committed horrible acts on those I loved, lik a futuristic drawing of a car and the like.

    I’m truly sorry that you’re having to do this thing, but I am also somewhat envious of the obvious love you felt for and shared with your father. It’s never easy filing through the papers of someone’s life.

    If you have a minute, I wrote about going through my dad’s boxes here. From one paper sifter to another…

    Hang in there, lady…
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..It’s the little things about social media that I love =-.

    Karen September 14, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    If you must keep them, scan them. Scan them into a document and throw the physical letters out. Then they will not be there for anyone else to find but you.

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