Guidelines: Empty Yet Full


By Simon Ambit

With both grandparents having been passed away for quite some time, my mom and her siblings made the decision to finally sell my grandparents’ home. For a week, many of us got together to get the house emptied and ready. Family members spoke for and agreed upon sentimental items in the home that served them with fond memories of those two wonderful people I knew as Gramps and Gramma.

We then loaded up the remaining furniture and knick-knacks and donated two loads of items to the Deseret Industries. We packed food storage out of the basement, purged the garage and cleaned up the yard. When it was all said and done, I believe everyone in the family, including the great-grandkids, ended up with something. And still, multiple items were hauled to the landfill.

When it was all said and done and the house was empty and silent, I walked through the house for a final time. The walls were void of photos, the shelves were clear of trinkets and crafts and the floors were bare of rugs. The social rooms held no furniture and the bedrooms housed no beds, yet the little home was full. It was full of memories and full of stories that were independent, yet just as real as any material thing that had once been there.

I wondered during the whole process of emptying the home what this final walk through the halls of my heroes’ home would be like. I am happy to report that it was such a pleasant experience, one that reminded me that life is about the memories, not the money. We should collect stories, not stuff, and we should focus on building love, not lucre. Though every single material thing they had was dispersed, their love, their teachings, their memory, their story and their legend still lives on.

The country song by Paul Overstreet played in the back of my mind as I stood in the living room and smiled:

“This house was built by my Grandpa; built it to stand strong and tall.
But like Daddy said, it’s bound to fall. Time will take its toll.
‘Cause everything that’s made by man, will someday come to an end.
So when you grow up and build your home, build on love, Cause love lives on

Love lives on; love lives on, even when the heartbeat’s gone.
It won’t rust or turn to stone, life may end but love lives on.

They were young but now they’re old; time has dulled their rings of gold.
But the seeds of love are growing strong.
Cause they lived on love, now love lives on.”

Make life great; let us fill our lives with what really matters.

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