27 May, 2010

Getting rid of stuff

Getting rid of stuff is almost a hobby for missionaries. I say 'almost' because sometimes it is kind-of enjoyable but other times it is not. However it is certainly not something we have a choice about. Changing houses often will do that to you. Even more so, living in small Japanese houses forces the occupation upon us.

Giving or throwing away some things is easy. Things like this fridge we simply cannot take with us nor wish to store. We also have no emotional attachment to it.

We have a slight emotional attachment to this car which has taken us thousands of kilometres, but it was only ours for the year and...well...we cannot take it with us. So it is not hard to give back.

Can you guess what this is? It is the baby spacer (you put asthma inhalers in one end and breathe the medicine at the other) that almost certainly saved us some stays in hospital back in 2003/4. I've never seen another like it, especially with the rubber face mask on the end that enables you to administer medicine to the youngest child.

Actually it has a pretty good story that goes with it. Our middle son was quite ill as a toddler. He ended up in a Japanese hospital twice around his first birthday with pneumonia/asthma type symptoms. Our hospital experiences were pretty awful. The Japanese doctors were also not keen on giving us preventative medication or anything, really, that we could use at home to treat his breathing and keep him at home rather than in a hospital. Until, through Australian acquaintances, we found a paediatrician in a neighbouring city who was used to "foreigners with asthmatic kids". This paediatrician gave us this spacer for free, which was actually a sampler he'd received but couldn't use because it had English instructions. Our son has grown out of his "asthmatic tendencies" thankfully and we have no more use for this amazing apparatus. But it has many memories attached to it - of pain and gratefulness. Of helplessness and prayer. It travelled in our luggage many times. I can hardly bring myself to put it in the rubbish (trash), but I cannot see anything else for it.

So, as we sort through our good and chattels once again, there are emotions attached. Happiness, sadness and indifference. It is not so much about materialism as it is about remembering our lives.

1 comment:

Cat said...

This is a good method of decluttering which I am attempting to use with stuff I have collected over the years; take a photo, write down the story and toss the item in the bin. You don't need to keep the physical item to keep the memories.