My husband went to the town dump yesterday to get rid of stuff as we continue to try to clear out decades of accumulated… well, stuff.
While he was there, he noticed a woman unloading boxes and bins of her own. She looked to be in her 70s. When he saw that she was going to throw away some great plastic bins with covers, he said, “Are you throwing those bins away?”
“Yes,” she said. “My husband died, and I’m clearing out some of his things.”
“I’m sorry for your loss,” my husband said, and paused. “But if you’re really going to throw them away, I could use them. They’re great for wood.”
“Wood?” she asked, her face growing animated. “That’s what my husband used them for! Do you make things out of wood, too?””
“Yes,” my husband told her. “I have a woodworking shop as a hobby, and those bins are great for storing small pieces of wood that I use for making boxes.”
“Wait, then,” she said, and happily pulled out a box of sandpaper. “My son was going to get rid of this, too. Would you like it?”
My husband saw that the sandpaper was not high quality and mostly used, but said, “Yes, that would be very helpful, thanks!”
So a widow, who was dealing with the sadness of saying goodbye to her husband’s memories, wound up smiling at a town dump, because her husband’s belongings were now going to someone who would appreciate them. Somehow, it makes loss a little more bearable when you can tell yourself that the person you loved lives on – even if it’s just the knowledge that some fellow woodworker is using their supplies.
And because he said he could use the sandpaper, well, that’s just another reason I really love my husband.