Counting The Blessing Of Saying Good-byeMy husband is cleaning out the garage.

From time to time, he asks me to come out and look.

So far, he has found stuff from as far back as 2002.

That’s embarrassing.

2 old bicycles. Retired golf clubs. 3 of those hang bars that are supposed to cover luggage or packages in the back of your car.  You know, they roll out.

For cars we no longer own.

And lots of wood. Long pieces. Short pieces. Piled up in the corner. Yard stuff. Kid stuff.

For that kid we no longer have either.

I had completely forgotten that I started a choir at my son’s elementary school. Found the music and roster. And why did we never hang that mirror from our old house in Dallas? The one lying up against the garage wall, covered in a nasty dusty cloth?

Perhaps because the back is falling off. That’s why.

Gads of stuff that’s not decent enough to salvage. Dumpster material. One car. Filled with donations.

What about the thing that is so sentimental – I can’t part with it?

The fact that it is fairly large is an issue.

Lemonade stand then.

Lemonade stand then. Real lemons… probably there for effect.

It’s a lemonade stand. We painted a big box white and glued pink letters on it. L-E-MO-N-A-D-E   S-T-A-N-D.


I called friends.  (Remember? Talking to people on the phone?) “Rob is selling lemonade and cookies.  Please come by if you can”.  Many of them tromped over on that beautiful Sunday afternoon. Stopped what they were doing. Gave of their time so that one little boy would feel happy.

That’s what I’m holding onto I guess. Memories. Artifacts of a happy time.

My mini mom museum.

I might as well admit that I have also saved his shoes. Not all of them. My house is not overrun with smelly sneakers. Just the special ones. His blue suede Elvis baby shoes. First little pair of leather hikers. The black and red “fireman” rubber boots he wore all summer long.  E-v-e-r-y day.

I have given away clothes. Toys. Most books. Tech-y stuff galore.

The shoes are staying.

A fellow blogger, Liane Carter, wrote an exquisite piece last week in the Chicago Tribune.  One of her 2 sons has severe autism and epilepsy.

She writes with frank honesty about the particular pain of an active motherhood that will not transition into something else. Time holds little promise of release. Things will only get more complicated.

Perspective has a way of being a path to humility. And gratitude.

I imagine that she has stuff in her garage as well. Maybe she’s even saved a shoe or two.

I get to clean mine out. To make room for fresh memories. To say good-bye, knowing all is well.

I should never take that blessing for granted.

Lemonade stand now.

Lemonade stand now. Kinda feels like I do. In need of repair.

The lemonade stand?

……….. Thirsty anyone?


I am sure some of you know exactly how Ms. Carter feels. Here is a link to her blog, Autism After 16. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with others. Please comment below or to me privately at askdrmargaret@ If you want me to know that you want me to keep writing? Then SUBSCRIBE in the gray box above – just enter your email and you will get a new post every Sunday morning!

I am always grateful for your readership and support. I am honored to feature Liane Carter’s spirit and work.


You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

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