I just went to my filing cabinet to try to fit in one more folder – representing one more class finished through the University of Phoenix. I could not smash in another folder full of stuff. Something has to go. I started to pull out the old OT folders – little savings, shavings of time, representations of knowledge gained and kept squirreled away in a filing cabinet; proof that I did it. I was there. I went to the University of Findlay and went through the OT program and got the degree. I did home health. I worked in hospitals. I helped people. I worked and taught at Salt Lake Community College. I planned coursework and programs. I did all this stuff. And I saved these documents as proof of my existence in the past. It means nothing to me to save these things. But I guess my hope is that my children will go through them as they throw them out when I am dead and have some little glimmer of who I am. What I did in the past. What I learned. What I was “in to.”
So I dumped a bunch of folders in the trash can. Shall I take away this opportunity for my children in the future? I need the space in the filing cabinet.
Do I really need them to know me? Don’t they know me? I guess they do in the Mama-way. They know me and my personality. But there are parts of me they don’t know and will now, never get a glimpse of.
Oh well. Am I this pile of papers and old photos? If anyone added up these little fractured bits of the past – would they add up to me? No, of course not. I am more than all the little tiny scraps of artifacts piled around the house in closets and cupboards and drawers and hanging on the walls. These are only representations of my likes, my preferences. But they are not me.
I am an eternal being, constantly changing, morphing along the journey of life and before life and after life. Each moment, I am living and in the middle of living. Who am I? I am Katherine Bowers Bruner. I am a woman. I am a child of God with unique gifts, intelligence and power. I have my preferred strivings to work on. I have loved ones over whom I pray and worry. I love the people I know: my husband, children, co-workers, neighbors, friends. My living is bound up in them as well. These little bits of paper and photos are not all of me, they could never be all of me. I can just mourn a bit, the loss of the memories and the lost opportunity for my children.