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I grew up in the 80’s, the X Generation, with somewhat practical parents. My mom, mom and dadrest her soul, washed foil after she cooked in it and then would reuse it. She was somewhat a recycle junkie. I think she got that from my grandmother.

My dad would work so hard and walk so much he would walk the soles off his shoes and rather than buying new ones, he would get them resoled. My parent’s relationship was not as good as I would have liked it to be but that is another story. We all have history and skeletons.

They were focused though and taught me value and the difference in right and wrong. I can still see them, my dad in a long sleeve work shirt, khaki shorts, white socks and black work shoes, my mom dressed in he denim jumper and cow neck shirts.

Growing up in my house was a time for fixing things. It was the same with my grandparents, probably because my granddad was a painter and carpenter. My family repaired everything rather than replaced. It was our way of life no matter how well off we were. Probably why my parents never made a payment on anything, they always paid cash.

I was jealous I think. Jealous of people that wasted things because it meant they had more and it meant they were rich. I thought that when you threw something away you KNEW there would always be more to replace it.

Then my mother had a stroke and died a few months later and on that cold and rainy morning, in the warm dampness of her room, in the house I grew up in, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes in our lives there just isn’t anymore.

Sometimes what we treasure and care about the most gets all used up. It all goes away and never returns in the way we want while we are still on earth. So, maybe it is best that we love what we have while we have it. Maybe it’s best we care for it and fix it when we can. Maybe even heal it when its sick.Dad

This is true for our own marriages, our children (with all they entail), old cars, dogs with bad hips and cats that have gone blind and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it and because we are worth it.

Years later, my father died and I knew this was the way it should be. Yes, I cried and I hurt but I also smiled and laughed at the time we had and was thankful for all the things he kept. I realized this time, they kept me and not because they had to but because they wanted to and because they loved me and I in turn kept them and still do.

We should all be each other’s keepers I think. We should love one another I think.

 

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