The things that don’t fit into a box.


We have sold our townhouse and are in the process of moving. My wife and I have had many arguments discussions on what should and shouldn’t go into a box. Essentially, my wife’s view is EVERYTHING needs to go into a box. My view is that if it does not fit easily, it’s not being boxed. Naturally, common sense prevails and we do it my wife’s way.

Pretty much everything fits into a box. Stuff that does not fit into a box is, well, furniture.

When you move, you can pack up a whole house of stuff and essentially, fit it into your garage, awaiting for moving day. All your worldly possessions packed up neatly, with clear labels, encased in too much bubble wrap, secured with miles of packing tape.

There’s stuff in packing, and in life, that doesn’t fit into a box. Memories. Laughs. Tears. Fun times. Hard times. Prosperity and poverty. Faith and disbelief. All these things that came across your path as you lived in the house.

Our house has had times of being full to the brim – during holidays when family interstate have stayed and we’ve had 10 people in our three bedroom townhouse! The boisterous nose of five children over-excited to see each other every morning is, well, only a parent knows that feeling! The emptiness and silence that encroached our house when we didn’t bring our first some home from hospital. Times when we’ve felt the tangible presence of the Lord in our house, protecting us, providing miracle after miracle in tough times. Times when faith has been a slug, when only commitments has gotten us through.

As I’ve said recently, my Grandmother passed away recently. After the funeral, I visited her place for one last time. She had lived in a very unassuming green fibro three bedroom house. She lived there with my Grandfather, my two uncles and my father. She was the last to live there. Her house was full of the normal things – books, photographs, furniture. Things that can be put into a box, bought and sold, traded, replaced. What can never be replaced is the memories that were created in that ‘humble home’. The delicious dinners. The conversations. The laughs, the prayers, the tears, the joy, the family. The things you just can’t put into a box and carry away.

My grandmothers house

Life deals up it’s share of things that can’t be put into a box. Sometimes you wish you could bottle a feeling or memory for later – the sound of your child’s laugh. The warm embrace of your wife. The tender words your husband speaks over your family. There are some things you wish you could dump in a box and drown in a river. Hurtful words. Poverty. Cruelty. Illness.

I know this probably has picked a recent scab for many of you. Torn away skin you thought had healed. I’m interested though – how do you keep those things alive that can’t be boxed? How do you remember your story? How do you heal through those hard times? Discard those things that seem to drag you down?

Many things in life can be put in boxes. It’s the things that we can’t put in boxes are the things we both treasure or fear the most. How do you ‘package’ those things in your life?

Image lifted from:
Second image care of Thomas Vidins



  1. Rosemary Peteranec

    Well, how do I package up those things you ask? I take photographs, (and have them printed!) and keep a little book of each special occasion, a formal dance, a Christmas or birthday party, a family meal, a swim in the pool, a happy holiday … A collection of patchwork pieces that make up the life of our family.
    We made a scrapbook for each of the children, covered it in brown paper and called it, ‘The Special Book’. In it went all the special things pertaining to that child so that when they grew up they have a book all about their lives of things they would have otherwise forgotten eg party invitations, certificates from school, school and class photos …. Etc. My children all loved opening their book, with the lovely crinkly sound of brown paper as the large book was opened, and being reminded of achievements, friendships and experiences.
    I have a ‘Memory Box’ in which I keep cards, notes, tickets, memories and whenever I go through it I am always reminded of the small things that make up my past.
    Writing is a great way to package emotions, a piece such as yours Pete, or a piece of poetry or even a hand written verse in a card … All great and effective ways to package our memories.
    As for the rest, well Pete, as you so beautifully have said you just have to store them in your memory, remind yourself that they are the pieces which contributed to making you who you are today, even if you don’t remember all the small details, we are shaped by the happiness and successes, and probably even more by the sorrows and disappointments, of life. The things that have happened to us are not all good, but they need not be a waste, use the sad times to learn from and the joyful times to share.
    I, for one, appreciate the things you have shared as you have looked back on the treasures of your life so far.
    Keep writing …

  2. Rosemary Peteranec

    especially loved this one … But don’t forget to proof read!! The content was brilliant!

    Sent from my iPad


  3. momfawn

    What a beautiful post! I, like Rosemary in the previous comment, keep scrapbooks filled with photographs and memories. (I also help others do the same as a consultant with Close To My Heart papercrafting.) But beyond the albums, I very deliberately tell the family stories to my children and grandchildren, so that the things that don’t fit in a box won’t be forgotten. My mother died five years ago — before my youngest granddaughter was born — but we have told Olivia so many stories about her that when she sees a picture she knows, “That’s Great-Grammy.”

    My blog, too, is a vehicle for saving those things that won’t fit inside the box. Sharing ideas, sharing values, sharing stories — that’s why I love to blog. And I love that you are following me at Triggershorse. Thank you. – Fawn

  4. simply supermom

    Reblogged this on Becoming Supermom and commented:
    This post spoke to me as my family remembers the loss of my grandfather a year ago this month. It worries me to think that there are memories that are beginning to fade just a little – things that take longer to recall.

    Even though I don’t love little yellow tomatoes like I did when I was little, I plant some every year to remember the way my grandfather always planted them in his garden just for me.

  5. Errol

    As cliche as it sounds, when the physical disappears, as long as we don’t diminish memories–they still remain. Memories can never equate to their physical presence, but I find holding onto these memories create a supplemental presence.

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