By Marsha Woods
If a shrink was to analyze me at the moment, he would not commit me to a faraway place; he would go there himself!
You see, I am in a great state of confusion at the moment! It stems from being, what could be termed as a sentimental hoarder!
It started as a teenager! I have always savored things that were reminders of special times! It began with collecting coke cups from dates with some hunk that took me out and spent a dollar wooing me! Oh how sweet it was! I began savoring memories until it became an uncontrollable obsession to keep everything that ever touched a chord in the recollection of good times! It was all an obsession to treasure the memories! Until now, almost 60 years later and my compulsion have caught me up! I am caught between closing my eyes and making friends with the garbage man or buying a huge box of matches and ending it all!
 Since I am unwilling to part with anything even closely related to the past, including  old bills, bank statement from the day I got married, my 41 year old daughters first clothes ( Thank God I didn’t save her first diapers!) and a myriad of other bits of nostalgia, I am now living in a cluster of confusion!
Reality slapped me in the face a couple of weeks ago with a makeover to our living room! I perhaps am way too content with chaos! I hate change! Then, it hit like a U Bomb! Frankly, it was a revelation! I don’t talk about this much, but, because I am such a sucker for savoring the past, most of what decorates my house used to belong to someone else! It is all about love and inheritance! Who else is lucky enough to have furniture dating back 117 years and dishware of the eras after that should not be proudly displayed?! I cannot nor will I allow those memories to be lost! The more that I inherit the more the legacy continues; that is unless I have to turn my house into a museum and live in a tent!  
The more I organize, the more the emotions increase! I sit in the middle of the room for hours, bawling my eyes out with the outlook of yesterday! Then I look around my house and wonder how much is real and how much is clutter! I am overwhelmed by nostalgia, and frankly a huge sense of ghosts! Grandparents, parents all talk to me while I sort through treasures! They ironically tell me that my obsession is not important, but seem to be proud that I will not allow their memory to be forgotten!
So, my house is a mess! Big Deal! My ancestors stuff is scattered from hell to breakfast and I can’t find the kitchen! It’s not important! What can’t be salvaged will end up in the already cluttered basement anyway! I will deal with that another year!
If there is a lesson to be learned from being a sentimentalist, it is this! What may be special in a moment of grief or reminiscence can become an encumbrance of clutter down the road! What matters is that the joy of what and where we are is encompassed in the possessions we inherit! When we feel when we touch the past, the present is not all that important! It is all about where we came from that makes us who we are!