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The Memories Came Rushing Back

Yesterday I started organizing my linen closet. In true Marie Kondo form I took everything out, so I could start with an empty space. (For those of you not familiar with Marie Kondo, just know that she is an organizing guru who wrote the bestseller “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”.) I warned my husband that organizing the linen closet might take a few days, so he was to just ignore the pile of linens strewn everywhere until I was done. I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated to take on this task; however, I knew I needed to push forward. Recently I was shopping and started to purchase new linen. I stopped myself from making the purchase by saying that I could buy new linen if I organized what I had and found that I needed them. I already knew where this was going. No new linen for me.

When I opened the door of the linen closet it was confirmed that I didn’t need new linen. After I dumped all the linen on the floor I began organizing the pile by size. We have all sizes of beds in our home so there was an ample supply of linen for twin, queen and king beds. Since I hate wasting money I was a bit pleased that all I had to do was take a bit of time to get things organized and the next time I needed linen it wouldn’t take long to get a matching set. Personally, I don’t care if the sets match or not and have no problem putting whatever I find on beds when we have guests. My husband Nashid however, is all about presentation and since he doesn’t ask too much of me, I usually try to honor his request that I use matching linen.

I expect to feel a bit melancholy when I look at pictures from my family’s photo album as I know that the pictures will bring back precious memories of happy times. However, I really wasn’t prepared for a similar experience while organizing the linen closet. But that’s what happened. The different sheet sets told a story of my life as the wife and mother in the family.

My hometown in South Carolina was the home of Springs Mills which produced linen. When I grew up, married and moved away, on my visits home my mom and I would visit the local Springs store where, among other items, you could purchase towels and bed linen. As I organized my linen closet I remembered the first time I went with my mom to the store after getting married. I was just a young woman who now had all these adult responsibilities. My mom and I walked through the aisles and she helped me decide on my purchases. On subsequent visits to the store, when we finished shopping we either stopped for a bite to eat or extended the day by visiting extended family. After each shopping excursion, when I returned to Virginia and added my new purchases to the linen closet I felt so grown up and accomplished. Felt like my family was in good hands.

In the closet there was a set of twin sheets that I purchased for our son’s bed. The set commemorated the Olympics. Even when my son rested I wanted him to dream big dreams.

There was even a set of linen my husband had when we first married. It was faded. This set brought back memories of my move into his apartment after we were married. Once there, I immediately took inventory of what he had and what I needed to add to make it feel like my home too.

I found our son’s baby blanket in the closet. I touched it over and over. I smelled it and remembered how afraid I was as a new mom bringing him home from the hospital, tightly wrapped in a blanket. Nashid nor I had any idea what we were doing. How would we take care of this special gift we had been given? We loved our son so and eventually settled into our roles as new parents by letting that love for him lead the way. The memories came rushing back and they soothed my soul.

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