Final Estate

I went to an estate sale yesterday.  I was headed to the store and came across it on my way out of the neighborhood.  I am an avid fan of garage sales.  A great find at a terrific price is right up my alley.  I have not often been able to frequent such sales as school is usually on Fridays.  But here was an estate sale on Thursday.

So I stopped, and in I went.

I was struck by the amount of things there were to look at.  There were items everywhere.  Big and small – all had to go.

As I wandered from the bedroom to the master bath I saw the equipment that the elderly often use in their final days, months or even years here on earth.  Walkers, toilet assists, diapers, etc. were clearly evident.  Then it dawned on me that the person who lived here had recently passed away and here was her stuff for all to see.  Every cabinet and drawer had been opened so the kitchen utensils, bathroom toiletries, gardening tools, and knickknacks were available for our perusal.

Her tastes were not mine and I ended up leaving empty handed, but not empty hearted.  I began to wonder what my estate sale would look like when I pass away.  Will my drawers and closets be open for anyone’s picking?  Will item after item be handled by strangers as they decide their wants and needs?  Will I have held onto as much stuff as she had?

So much of what was there seemed unnecessary, shelf after shelf of cheap paperbacks that had probably been read long ago, and costume jewelry – more than anyone needed in a lifetime – kitchen or bathroom items that were still in their original wrapper, just in case.

Why do we hold onto such things long after they fit our needs?

We paired down our household about four years ago when we moved to our current location.  We had become empty nesters and our requirements were few.  I remember the hardest thing to part with were the books.  We culled through volume after volume thinking some of these we would never find again.  But most items were easy to leave behind.  After all how many kitchen gadgets does it take to prepare a meal?

But the finest specimens I hope to leave are not ones that can be listed in a court document or shown at an estate sale.   My desire is that the final estate will include memories of love, joy, kindness, trials, and faith – in other words the ups and downs of an intentional journey as we sought to grow and be obedient to Christ, sometimes succeeding and sometimes not.

What are you leaving in your final estate?