Breaking Up is Hard to Do

It was time.  It had to be done.  I needed to make room in my heart (and my drawers) .  But breaking up is hard to do…and I had put it off for so long…

But I was neither doing them OR myself any favors by prolonging the agony…

I had so much affection for clothes that I would never wear again.  Acknowledging at age 55, I doubted that I would wear straight skirts above my knee with black opaque hose and black clunky shoes and those matching little sweater sets from the late ’90s. Think Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail or refresh your memory here:

But what’s with my attachment to these dyed, woven, fibers made to keep me from having to wear fig leaves?

Oh for the days of fitting into sizes 8 and below!  Was that what was bothering me about this?

Well…I think for the most part I had accepted that awhile back.  Then I realized they were attached to moments in my life…I wore this on my trip to San Diego…or I remember wearing this when I first met so-and-sooh, this was the sweater I had on when I dared to re-enter college to finish my degree after a 30-year break.

These weren’t clothes…this wasn’t about a size…these were attached to memories.

Like these stone-washed straight-legged jeans and ribbed turtleneck that I wore when Lydia and I went to see Rascal Flatts sitting in the second row in a small high school auditorium for 10 bucks…a benefit for people with disabilities…and my daughter was thrilled that I took her picture with Joe Don.

Wow…then there was this skirt and sweater…a chill ran down my spine…

I bought those at Casual Corner…

I also had this on when I learned at 9:00 a.m. on September 11, 2001, that our country was under attack…

Never Forget...(the fabric under the book is the skirt I had on that morning.)

And used the skirt as a drape  for this still I made commemorating the 10th anniverary…  Saying goodbye to this would be like throwing away a Bible, something sacred, a part of my self, a poignant moment of history…It was a symbol of loss, of unity, and a country’s resilience…and the preciousness and fragility of life and freedom.  No, this would remain…

So these goodbyes were far from what I expected…they were remembrances of  days of my life…of God’s faithfulness…and God’s mercies.  Gratitude changes everything.

With gratitude,

This entry was posted in Beyond Layers, Christian Life, Life, Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Breaking Up is Hard to Do

  1. Lissa @ lafcustomdesigns says:

    Oh, how I get this. I have lots of thes clothing memories still and I’ve given lots away already. I’ve helped people create their life story books and never thought of this one. Really nice post, Denise. ;->

  2. Carol says:

    Just of all the new memories these items will create for the person who gets them next. Hugs to you, I know it’s hard.

  3. Terri Porter says:

    Oh, I can so relate to this, Denise! You are so right about the memories we attach to clothes! And Casual Corner! Oh, my gosh, I don’t think I still have any but I did. Great post and if it gets you to clean out your closet, I may have to do the same thing.

  4. Thank you Denise for sharing this! What a wonderful thing! I’ve never thought of it in this way….. Maybe it’ll get easier now to get rid of some oldies….. To be able to let some new stuff in instead!
    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  5. Fantastic memories happy and immensely sad , but new memories are just around the corner. And you now have these photos and this blog post as memories to Lovely Denise x

    • Viv – you got that right! When I had my “lightbulb moment” of “Wow, this could be a blog post…” it was a way those memories could stay with me.

      • Judith says:

        Denise you write beautifully, I enjoyed this so very much. Would making them into a large memory quilt / comforter be a possibility for you? Or you could pass them on to other women in true need of warm, nice things. They will make their own memories in them, giving them new life.

  6. Becky says:

    So well said! I can just picture those moments. Funny how clothes, food, songs, or even smells can trigger memories.

  7. cindyswainson says:

    Thank you for sharing this experience! I am so right THERE with you! You know, my memory fails me often at age 52, often in really critical things…but it works just fine in this fashion.

  8. Lorraine says:

    Great post and so true. I think so many things we own are attached to memories. I need to do a major purge myself….

  9. Julie says:

    Oh, this is wonderful. I should do this one day very soon. My closet is full of things I know I’ll never wear again. Great post!!

  10. Roxi says:

    Well said, great pics, well done. It takes me a long time too to go through things like that because of the memories.

  11. Sharon says:

    Excellent post…. I’ve been decluttering and downsizing little by little the last few years. I’ve been planning on posting about that too because I find as I destash all my art stuff, that a piece of me leaves with each of the things I get rid of….so hard but necessary.

  12. Patrice says:

    Oh yes, I am still hanging on to clothes I have had since my kids were’s definitely the memories that keep me hanging on! #bts

  13. Pingback: Compassion for the Compassionate | New Mercies I See

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