I have three parents in various stages of elder care so the topic of estate planning is on my mind recently. In addition to financial matters there are all the incidental items that have to be planned for. For example, I returned from home last week with a portrait of me at age two, a minor family heirloom, in the back seat of the car. Mom and I agreed it was probably best to find a place for it now rather than wait. Other items we’ve been cataloging including salt and pepper collections, a small armory of firearms, garden tools and fishing gear.
And though we’ve not come across them yet, there is inevitably a cardboard box or two hidden away in a closet somewhere with those, um… therapeutic devices and literature that get accumulated over time. Did you ever wonder who was going to dispose of those items when you’re gone? Blogger A.V. Flox did and, as a public service, tracked down at least one source that will recycle your intimate medical devices in a discrete and environmentally safe manner.
Though I admire Ms. Flox’s effort on our behalf, I find her story saddening on several levels. First of all, I am saddened to think of how many people will be offended by the topic and it’s associated illustration (purloined above). We spend our entire lives escaping our childhood only to entomb ourselves in a Disney G-rated existence, dragging down as many others with us as possible. That’s true perversion.
Even sadder is the fact that so many of those boxes never see the light of day, either because of the lack of an understanding partner or the plain courage to admit what is important in our lives. What a tragedy to meet the end of our days having lived someone else’s idea of what we should be.
We all have boxes hidden in the closets of our lives, even you sitting there and tut-tutting at me. Whether your box is filled with pink unmentionables or abandoned dreams makes little difference. Do you secretly want to be a writer, an artist, a dancer or a kinky lover? Guess what? Life ain’t no dress rehearsal. This is it. All she wrote. If you don’t pull that box out soon, someone else will after your funeral. Given the price of dreams, it seems a shame to leave them there to gather dust.