~three boxes of newspapers, bills, and correspondence. I know I have mentioned in a post before my struggle to deal with these items multiple times, but I had not been able to handle the emotions. I have started and stopped, moved the boxes around, and whatever else to avoid the project altogether.
For some reason yesterday I decided it was time. Time to empty them out. Time to clean out the clutter so it was no longer looming in the dining room every time I walked through. I am not sure I realized what I was getting myself into though. I jumped in with the box of newspapers, cutting out the whole page where any article (about the Foundation, court proceedings, organ donation, or the accident) was. I did pretty good for quite a while since most of the recent papers were about Foundation happenings. Unfortunately the further down I got, the harder it became. I had to force myself just to find what pertained to my search and not read or look at the pictures. The one that really caught me off guard was a short column that had Abrielle Lauryn Neff in bold letters centered above more writing underneath. I thought, "Oh, wow. Abby's birth announcement. Why do I have that in here?" That's when the tears started flowing heavily. It was under the heading of Services Held. I took a deep breath noticing the bottom of the box was in sight and tried to trudge on. I cried through finding her obituary, drawings and letters from her friends and cousins, pictures of her smiling face, but then I saw a picture of the accident scene. I left the pile on the floor and walked away. I did not sleep well last night knowing what was on my agenda for today.
I was so grateful when my Mom called to see what I was doing. As you know I don't ask for help, but she knew I needed it and came out. I am pleased to say that we were able to make huge headway. While the job is not totally finished, the box is empty, the file box filled with documents we have to keep for a few more years is tucked away, and the picnic basket is almost empty. We clipped articles, sprayed them with preservation spray, and put them into binders for us to keep until it became too much for me. Then Mom piled them up and said she was taking them home to do. I love her!
Just clearing that much out has felt like a weight lifted. It was almost like Abby was prodding me along these last two days saying, "OK Mommy. It's time to get this stuff done." Granted I will still have to put them in order and a few other things that I am sure will bring more tears, but the boxes of newspapers are gone!
On another note, I wanted to share the sentiment I sent home with the preschoolers this year.
Every year we give the Preschool class
a small stuffed animal from the Abrielle
Neff Foundation as a gift and a way of
saying “Thank you” to the kids for the
things they have done to help us
(planting Abby’s Garden at the school
and bringing donations). This year I have
had the special treat of working with your
child and have enjoyed it immensely.
Their love, joy, and childhood innocence
have helped fill a void in my life. So I
must say “Thank you.” also. Thank you
for sharing your child with me.