Yesterday I went to San Jose with Dan to pack up the remnants of his childhood. The process was slow in the beginning as we carefully scrutinized each item, but towards the end, everything steadily went into trashbags. His mom and dad urged him not to throw everything away, but I could see that his sister was anxious to have the room cleaned out. She’s pregnant and there’s something about new life that screams new beginnings. Obviously.

In the end, we were left with four boxes and a super soaker. “My childhood in four boxes,” he said, not quite sadly, as he and his sister tucked them away in the closet. Why do we hold onto these things? In the end, we return to dust.

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