Sorting, Donating & Remembering


peru days

Robert in healthier days, working in Peru (2016)

I have been putting this off. Not that I needed to do it in a hurry. Today I spent some time sorting through my husband’s jeans and shirts. He had a stash of jeans in large sizes – he used to be a big guy. Cancer diminished his body, but not his spirit. He had given away most every piece of clothing to a local shelter where he volunteered. The only clothing left in his closet were two pair of jeans, one pair dress pants, a sport coat and 3 shirts. Then I found the stack of jeans. I’m sure he planned to take the bag to the same shelter. I will do so this week, along with some sweatshirts and PJs that I found.

Robert was a bicyclist and loved riding the trails on his mountain bike up in Memphis and in Jackson. But here in New Orleans the terrain is flat. He loved riding these streets as well. Most days he would ride ten miles. He did that until earlier this year, until his energy was zapped by chemo. All the memories fill my heart as I sort through his old biking clothes – he was serious – he had all the gear of a racer. The elastic in his biking shorts has dry rot now. Ditching those.  One thing I know, is that my husband’s life is so much more than all these things.


Biking along the Natchez Trace

As I sort and pack up his clothing, my very heart hurts with pain. Until I pull out his favorite biking shirt. Neon reflective green, with black stripes. I can see him now, soaring over the hills and through the sand, never stopping, breathing deep, sweat dripping, blowing hot breath as he pedals up a hill. He is strong. He is muscular. He is healed.

As I will be one of these days. But until then, my heart still hurts.

Mardi Gras and “Coat of Many Colors” that we made; Riding the streets of New Orleans.


6 responses to “Sorting, Donating & Remembering

  1. I love you, Emma. You are the bravest soul I know. I was thinking about how little time I spent with Robert and yet I feel as if I know him. I think your stories from the start of our friendship halo me know him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Take your time with the healing process!! It took me almost a year before I could go thru my husband’s closet, the garage, all his work stuff and so many other of his things. It won’t be easy, you’ll cry a lot — take your time!!


    • yes, that’s my plan. A little at a time. Tears and smiles as I sort. My husband actually gave away much of his belongings as he anticipated his death. This unnerved me a bit at the time, but now I am glad he did. I know he did not want me to have so much to go through. He was a wise soul.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Kennedy Brown

    Beautiful, Emma. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Much of this is so poignant, and much of it is so affirming. And I LOVE the coat of many colors! love to you, e


  5. he loved that coat as well; however, that year was so HOT he couldn’t wear it, and the next year, well, he was not up to walking. He never got to wear it except for trying it on for the pic. Love you too!!


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