As I mentioned, I just returned from America. There was an emotionally difficult part to the trip (besides all the food at Gateways) because the family is preparing to sell my mother’s house. Granted, it wasn’t the house I grew up in, but my parents had lived there for 25 years and I always stayed there when I came to America.
When my father died, my mother kept everything, so we didn’t have to face this. Now I had to confront a lifetime of memories and acquisitions. What do you keep? Well, the clothes I left there was a no brainer. I kept a hat, overcoat, shoes, umbrella, pajamas, etc. so when I flew in from Eretz Yisroel I only took a carry-on.
But then you have to decide. You can’t take everything. Sifting through memories takes a long time. There are the things that have special meaning to you but not to anyone else (like a wooden bowl of wooden fruit) and things that had meaning to my mom but not to anyone else (like her collection of dolls from around the world).
Some in the family only took things with intrinsic value, like my nephew who looked through the whole house and took toothpicks (no, not gold toothpicks, just wooden toothpicks). One family member took hangers.
Soon the house will be gone and my mother will be only in Olam Haba and the hearts of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.