His flannel shirt caught my eye. I was on the floor doing some Pilates. As I lifted my head, I saw that flannel shirt, hanging with all his other clothes on his side of the closet. And I knew that it was time to clear out his clothes. Just like that.

People say that you know when you’re ready. Today, I was ready.

I waited for daughter to come home from riding. I served her some hot apple cider, then I brought her to the store. She’s the one who can squeeze into the storage spot under the stairs, so I needed her to gauge the right-sized storage bins at the store. I didn’t tell her why I needed the bins. She didn’t ask.

I’ve spent the afternoon pulling his clothes off the rack and out of his drawers. The only awkward moments were when I would reach for a new batch of clothes. I felt a tingle, like….I don’t know like what. One of the dogs plopped himself on top of a pile of clothes, as he is wont to do, but then he sniffed around. He came over to me and put his head on my lap. We took a moment together to miss him.

Otherwise, it has been straightforward. Most of the clothes are going into bins until my son can fit into them and can decide if he wants to wear them. Those that husband never really wore are going to the thrift store. Some are staying upstairs, for painting jobs or whatever. I sorted his socks and kept the good ones in the drawer. Son will fit into them before long. Is it weird for him to wear his dad’s socks? I dunno. We’ll decide later.

With the big drawers cleared out, I have space for the quilts we brought back from his aunt’s house. They’ve been lying in a box in the hallway for the last few weeks. Now there is a place for them, and I can clear out the hallway, too.


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