Today we gave our 100 year old piano that has been in our family for over 50 years to a good friend who wanted a piano for his young kids.
It's been bittersweet....my dear, sweet mother is a depression-era packrat who does not like to throw anything away...I mean anything. I recently cleaned out her kitchen and back porch while she was out of town for a few days with friends. Batteries that expired in 1992...cake mixes from the 70's...drink mixes from the 60's...Tylenol that expired in 1998...you get the idea. Nothing that we needed or that would ever be used.
Clutter is so detrimental to any environment - it literally clutters your thinking and since my mother has some significant memory loss, I need her space to be as uncluttered as it can possibly be, which doesn't allow me to eliminate very much, considering she is very attached to her clutter. I just try to make it as functional and comfortable for her as possible, while still keeping some sense of order with the stuff that is still here.
I have been talking to our piano every night since I knew it would be going to a new home. I know, it sounds crazy, but I tend to see many of my inanimate objects as having a spirit, a life of their own. This piano has been in this house my entire life. It is a beautifully carved upright. My grandmother used to play it once in a while for us. She actually used to play piano in the theaters for silent movies! (She would have been 111 years old this year) It is totally out of tune but you can still play it just for the enjoyment of it. I haven't played it in years but I did play quite a bit when I was younger. These days it has become a home for all of our family photos and any other random photos, Christmas cards, postcards and random papers that my mom decides she wants to keep but has no where to store them. So I told the piano how much I love it and I will always love it, and that it is going to a new home and starting over with a new, young family who will love it just as much as we have. Sure enough, my friend called when the piano was delivered to his house and he and his wife love it and his kids have been playing it all afternoon. That makes me so happy.
I cried a bit when the piano movers loaded it into their truck and I told it goodbye one last time. Now we have a big empty wall in the living room but I feel like I can finally breathe with the extra space. We're going to get a nice, simple bookshelf for the space and we'll hang our family photos on the wall that hasn't seen the light of day since the 1950's. It's progress...mom is more open to cleaning things out and getting rid of some of the useless clutter. Because there is a difference, you know, between the useless and the "we might need that someday!" clutter.
Sometimes things feel strange after a change but I always know that it means better things are on the way. Right now a more organized home for my mom is the goal. More changes to come, I'm sure!
Good night Piano...I'll miss you.
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