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Roots and Wings

‘Better things to come than the ones we leave behind’

/ 05:01 AM January 29, 2019

Marie Kondo has been my sanity saver.

Watching her “Tidying Up” videos at the end of long days and nights of packing up a life inspired me to keep going. Her joyful spirit was a soothing balm at the end of each day.

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After two weeks of intense purging, sorting, donating, selling, and keeping, I am finally done. Last week, I turned over the old house—where I spent 20 years of my life, and where my children grew up in—to its new owner.

I didn’t realize I would be sentimental about leaving the house. Yes, the children and I had left it many moons ago, and though their father and I are no longer together, I thought the house would at least last forever.

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But, as I have written in a previous column, it was no longer viable and practical to maintain.

First to leave

The first to leave were my two beloved dogs. They were adopted into a beautiful new home whose owner is a dear friend of mine from childhood. She graciously offered my dogs shelter after an extended member of our family refused to keep them in our family home. I will always be grateful to my friend for rescuing my doggies.

Next came the gargantuan task of sorting through all the stuff the family had collected over the years. The biggest yield: books! Not surprising for a family of readers and writers, but the number of books was more than enough to fill a school library.

They were the possessions that sparked the most joy in us. What to do when Marie Kondo says you must keep only 30 books?! That’s one advice I refused to follow.

10 huge boxes

But we sorted through the piles of books and ended up donating 10 huge boxes to Mang Nanie Guanlao (tel.  0935-1533031), whose home in Makati has been turned into a library for street children and students of Makati City’s public schools.

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The great and inspiring work he’s doing made us feel less sad about saying goodbye to a lot of our books, knowing that they will be put to good use  elsewhere.

Then came a number of pieces of old furniture, still in excellent condition. After we had picked which ones to keep, the rest were either sold on the Manila Furniture Buy and Sell Facebook page (an excellent site for second hand-items) or given away to dear friends who needed them. Knowing that the furniture would be put to good use by their new owners made the letting go much easier.

The dependable LalaMove drivers made everything seem easy.

For moving older furniture and the bigger bulk of items, Asian Tiger became my go-to guys. They are professional and courteous, and went the extra mile.

‘Don’t be sad’

After the house was empty, and as I walked through each and every room, I felt a little wistful. But God always sends angels to deliver His message when we feel blue.

One of the recipients of the bulk of my furniture was an old and dear friend who had recently lost everything in a fire and was now starting over. When I told her I was feeling a little sad, she messaged me, “Your pieces made a home whole again. Don’t be sad. Remember what C.S. Lewis said, ‘There are far, far better things to come, than the ones we leave behind.’”

Thank you, Father, and thank you, house, for keeping us safe, for providing us shelter for 20 years. Bless the new family there. We are grateful for what remains, and for what lies ahead.

E-mail the author at

storiesbykate@gmail.com

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