Since the computer thieves absconded with my computers last Friday, I’ve come to realize how wrong I’ve been living. Carrying a career on a computer always with me. Slung over the shoulder: half a million files encrypted and safe but far too incremental with files upon files, likely never to be used again. Life in a folder nested in folders sometimes five deep, all of them organized thematically and networked functionally. The files were all so tidy and extensive, but far from reality that’s more messy and immediate. I’ve changed the way I roll since your death, which has taught me better how to live.
No longer carry my career with the latest and greatest technology though you did like the bleeding edge on iPhones. Carry an old shoe of a computer with just a few files checked out for the day from the cloud library. Challenge the thieves to take it. Break it. It’s worth nothing.
Work for a limited time and then pay attention to the other stuff of life. Much like your classmates describe you. Throw the football around. Surf the sports channel. Hang with a friend over a beer. Chill a bit to reload. Work can wait.
Deacquire stuff along the way. Quit acquiring things that hang like barnacles on life's hull. Stored in boxes, on shelves, in files and drawers, spread extensively across the day to be run into and used, but quickly re-filed and re-stored.
Since your death, we’re now staring at all the stuff you/we acquired in your life. And it hurts just to look at it, let alone know what to do with it: the stuff of growing up with the latest and greatest thing. Clothes once fashionable but now out of fashion. Electronic stuff now so ancient that it’s laughable in use. Sports stuff with passion now gone as a passing interest but with occasion to rekindle. You were light on the school stuff, so it’s easy to deacquire.
Since your death, we're now faced with what to do with all this stuff. Your mama began to go through your clothes draws and stopped. Choked up that this was it: the ultimate act of confirming you're not coming home again. Your stuff is no longer needed.
But we must remember that you weren’t defined by your stuff. You were there then and now, as someone in our life who loved it so much that you just had to have the latest and greatest: all the stuff of clothes, technology, and sports. Who cares if it fell out of fashion or you lost passion? The enjoyment was there, so go there.
It will be a long hard winter as we wrestle with the stuff and the stuff of memories. Struggling to shed the stuff but keep the memories.
Day 56 and it’s still too close to be real.
We love you man.