How do you even contemplate disposing of almost 17 years worth of a little girl's plans, dreams, inventions, creations? Every bottle cap that was going to be a necklace, every acorn cap that was a fairy bowl, the popsicle sticks and wine corks that were going to be dollhouse furniture? She had plans, schemes, ideas, a head full of wishes and thoughts that never came to fruition. Robbed of her stamina and the use of her hands, she collected the trinkets and baubles to create fairy houses, jewelry, scrapbooks. A treasure trove of bits and pieces, my little magpie has them all lovingly stored in her bedroom. And now I have to stare at them, hold them in my hands and decide over each bottle cap, each length of ribbon, every piece of paper with her handwriting, what to do with it all. The shirts with the necks cut out so they wouldn't damage her skin, the ponytail holders, the posters and books and the pieces of her life surround me. Looking at them brings no comfort, but the thought of parting with them brings nothing but hurt.
I have a sudden urge to beg my landlord to sell me this house. To never leave the last place she called home. I know I can't afford to stay. Thank the powers that be for the assistance from all over that has poured in; Walt and I will have a few months here, but before long it will be time to pack our things and go be somewhere that Cassie never was. Where she never slept or laughed or cried. For me to spend my days in rooms where I never hugged her or heard her walking around calling for the cats or cleaned up her spilled paint, spilled blood. Do I box up everything she owned and store it away? What if one day I suddenly need to see her tee shirt with the butterfly winged kittens so badly that I'll die if I can't, but it's gone? The dress she wore to her prom, the necklace she wore for her 16th birthday, the boxes of crystals, the mangas, the things that prove she was here, she was alive, that brought her such delight?
The Monster High dolls. Oh, those dolls. Dozens of them. Yes, in truth, probably about 100 of them. If you had heard her squeal of delight with each new one you would have bought her a thousand. The way her face lit up when I came home with one that was hard to find, that she couldn't wait to get. The ones she got just weeks ago for Christmas and barely got to play with. How do I let them go?
How do I let her go?