I was in high school, probably 15. Grandma had been onto him and onto him about it, and she told us he did not want to let go of anything. "It's still perfectly good!" he protested. "She wants me to get rid of perfectly good clothes." Grandma was, she told us, at her wits' end. Well, we had nothing else on the agenda for that night, so after dinner, we all trooped upstairs, Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa and Booboo the dog and me, to clean out Grandpa's closet.
It was a big closet. They had three bedrooms in that house, one of them a walk-in, and only two of them living there. So there was plenty of room to store things and not have to get rid of them for room for more. There were polyester one-piece jumpsuits. There were shirts with lapels wider than my waist. There were cowboy shirts with pearl buttons. He had things I had not only never imagined my grandpa wearing, I had never imagined anybody wearing them, but there they were in their dacron glories. Mom had fine gradations of response from, "When did you last wear that, Daddy? Put it on and let me see," to, "Pop, I made that; I know how old it is!" to, "Oh, Father, no!" Dad and I just laughed until we hurt.
Grandpa came around again to the same line: "It's still perfectly good!" And we realized what the problem was, and Momma stifled her giggles. "Dad, Mom doesn't want you to throw these things out," she said. "She wants you to give them to charity. You're not using them, and they are still perfectly good--or at least nearly as good as they ever were--and maybe someone else will get some use out of them. Probably someone poorer than you."
After that, Grandpa was perfectly content to clean out the things he hadn't worn in awhile--especially when he saw that "unused/unusable" was a lot more the criterion than "old." It was the principle of the thing.
We are sort of limping along around here, trying to take good care of ourselves and each other. Tonight the dinner plan is mango quesadillas, sliced avocado, fresh strawberries. Also I made lussekatter this morning. The dark days aren't over for us, just as they aren't on Santa Lucia Day, but letting a little saffron-scented light into the house is no bad thing.
Also I have now written three sentences of fiction today, the first since Grandpa died. Maybe there will be more later tonight. Maybe not. But we're dealing with what we can and what we have to.