Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I moved last year. If there is one thing that will show you that it is time to declutter and get rid of a few things, it is packing them all up and hauling them to another place. In the unpacking part of the move, I was determined to get rid of several boxes of stuff and not have to move them again.

How does one end up with so much stuff? In my case, much of it was inherited. Dishes, glassware, boxes and boxes of pictures, books, clothes. Some of it belonged to my mother who passed away in 2010, and some of it belonged to my aunt who passed away in 2001.

Sorting through these belongings and deciding what to do with them was necessary, but not easy. Discarding, donating and selling my aunt and mother's things sometimes felt like throwing away memories of these people I loved, memories that thin and blur with time.

I made several trips to the Habitat for Humanity store and the Brown Roof Thrift store.  I also posted items on an app called Offer Up.  Dishes and glassware and clothes were easy to get rid of, but other items were not so easy to part with. In some cases, the experience of the items finding new owners was joyful and rewarding. Selling my aunt's gleaming silver coronet was a fantastic experience that I will never forget.

The coronet was one of the items that I held on to for a while before deciding to sell it.  It was beautiful. My aunt played it in the Fitch High School marching band in Groton, CT.  After high school, my aunt became a barber and then went on to become a highly regarded animal control officer. The coronet spent years in the attic of my mother's ancestral home in Mystic. I listed the coronet on Offer Up which allows you to deal locally with people who are nearby and hand deliver your sale item. It was fun to meet people and hear about their plans for whatever it is they are buying from you.

Eventually, I got a notification on the app that someone wanted to buy the coronet. We set up a meeting at a nearby grocery store. The buyer was purchasing the instrument for his son, a school band director who collects instruments and their stories. He wanted to know about the original owner of the coronet. It made me happy to tell him about my aunt, but he also wanted to know if the instrument worked, and I had no idea if it did. After texting him information and sending links regarding my aunt, he sent me a video of his son Kevin playing the coronet. (see below) It worked! The sweet music that flowed out of the instrument, last played by my aunt, sent tears streaming down my face. And it just so happened that my mother adored the song he played, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".  I know that both my aunt and my mother would have been overjoyed to hear the rich music pouring out of the old coronet.

I have enjoyed telling this story to family and friends.  My other auntie -Pam, encouraged me to write about it after I accidentally told her the story twice. That video is such a gift, a greeting from heaven. Even better, Kevin played the coronet for his middle school students and they loved it. How did he know that is one of our favorite songs? I think some angels told him.