In some ways I despair of ever getting Sunshine to get rid of all the clutter, tchotchkies, knick-knacks, stuffs, and things.
In other ways, I see progress.
We met Sunshine's nephew at our warehouse the other day. The kid had been storing some furniture there, and he was ready to get it out. While there, I opened up two of our remaining boxes of stuffs and things and went through them, asking Sunshine which ones might he be willing to give the kid.
Time for some backstory. The nephew in question is the son of the sister who died of an overdose when the boy was ten. Sunshine's mother raised the boy for the next five or six years until she passed away, at which time Sunshine took him in. Many of the items boxed up in our warehouse belonged to Sunshine's mother and therefore couldn't just be donated or thrown away. We are talking about a family that will hold on to the most unbelieveable amount of stuff for sentimental reasons. I promise, I did tread carefully.
As I unwrapped each item, I asked Sunshine about it. There were quite a few items that he gave to the nephew. The nephew was pleased to receive them, as they had belonged to his grandmother who had taken him in and raised him. The nephew's new wife kept asking "are you sure?" Sunshine and I had to explain to her that we live in a tiny space, and even if we build a house some day, there will never be enough room to properly display and honor these things of his mother's.
Part of me wonders if hell froze over. Sunshine doesn't get rid of stuffs and things. He truly does hold on to things out of sentimental attachment. I'm glad he understood that my motivations were at least partly in the right place. I wasn't trying to just trash his mother's stuff. I really do believe that if you are going to hold on to things for sentimental reasons, you should honor them instead of packing them in a box in a dirty warehouse.
However, there is a part of me that know that hell is still hot. When I look around the magic bus, I see all these knick-knacks and tchotchkies that Sunshine won't get rid of. It would anger me if I thought about it for long. When we first moved in together, he repeatedly told me he was afraid that I wouldn't display any of his things because they didn't mesh with my style. Look around this place. Whose shit has taken over? Whose style is most represented here? (Hint: it ain't mine.) I despair of ever getting him to get rid of any of this stuff.
However, for just a brief while the other day, I believe they felt a cool breeze in hell. Sunshine passed on a few things, and I decided that my grandmother's wash basin and pitcher would be better honored by taking it home to Georgia and letting my brother and sister fight over who gets it. I may never get Sunshine to quit hoarding tchotchkies and knick-knacks, but he did make progress in cleaning out that warehouse a bit more. And I made progress in letting go of other people's notions of what I should hold on to and why.