With all the talk of decluttering lately, here’s something useless, stored away in a box and half-forgotten, that I will never throw away: the key to my parents’ old home. They left that house more than twenty years ago.
That house … They loved living there, a small ranch home at the end of a cul-de-sac. They enjoyed its wide windows, airy sun porch, and large back yard. My mother planted a flower garden in front and a vegetable garden in back, and together they worked hard to create a charming, comfortable interior. On weekends they would visit nearby parks, go to sporting events, or simply relax at home. They were happy there.
I remember the times I visited. I lived in nearby city, and I had the key because I could come anytime — always welcome, just walk right in — and I came when I could for holidays and visits.
My parents have died, someone else lives in that house, and I’ll never go back. Someone else might think that the old key is useless, but they never used it to walk into that happy home.
Once, that key opened a door. Now it opens joyful memories.