Dear Charlie and Jack,

All month last month (September), I helped your Lolo and Lola move out of their home in Daly City where they’ve lived for over twenty years.  I write you this now because, quite possibly, in the not so distant future, you will also be helping me and your Papa move out of our home.  Before that time comes, I want to articulate an important request:  hold your tongue and please be kind with me and your Papa.

 Please be kind even when you grit your teeth in frustration because I refuse to throw away years of newspaper clippings on “points of interest” that don’t interest you.

 Or when I insist on taking the time to shred ten years worth of bank statements and cashed checks and utility bills because I fear identity theft.

 Or when I can’t, just can’t, throw away empty CD cases, my point and shoot camera, cassette tapes, or walkman.

 When you see old photos of and letters from people I loved and had relationships with, please keep them, put them in a safe place even when you don’t think I will ever remember where this safe place is.

 When you see random stuff which totally confounds you, stuff you don’t think a 66 year old woman has any business having, like a collection of dildos and vibrators, ask me why I have them- you might be surprised at the answer I give and you might come to know a side of me you’ve never known before.

 At the end of the day, when your back throbs from hours of bending over my knick-knacks and your eyes twitch from the stress of managing your urge to throw everything away, I hope that you will go home to somebody you love and with whom you will share whiskey on the rocks and your angst about what you’ve diagnosed as my tendency to hoard.  I hope you will laugh, not gnash your teeth, over the things I own that boggle your mind.  And when you’re laughing so hard that you begin to cry, I hope you will realize that soon enough it will be your turn.  And at that moment you will wish for the same kindness from your kids that I now ask from you.


(Ba-bye Daly City!  Those two movers were unbelievable!)