By John Ashley
Not too long ago the company that picks up our garbage delivered new containers to every home in the Township so they could collect the trash more efficiently. The containers were much bigger than anything we had before and the two bags of trash that we put out to the curb almost disappeared in the vast space inside the can. Many of my neighbors, however filled the containers and had bags piled up next to it ready to be picked up. I wondered, “How do they generate so much trash?” After mulling this thought over in my mind, I concluded that these homes held 5 and 6 person families. “Of course they generated a lot of trash,” I thought, “Don’t you remember when we had all our kids living at……”
The empty nest hits us in different ways. My wife and I were caregivers for our youngest son until he was twenty eight, his oldest brother is 8 years older than him, so we generated a lot of garbage for 36 years. Now we are back to just a couple of bags of trash a week. I remember times of having to take several trips from the garage to the curb in years past hauling all the garbage to the curb; frustrated that our sons hadn’t done it before leaving for school. Now, it’s done with one trip.
You may be wondering where I am going with this thought. Well, I’ll tell you. I would love to be able to haul all that garbage again. I have a new appreciation for what it represents; family meals, cleaning up after the kids friends came over, pizza boxes, junk thrown away from the boys rooms. That trash at the curb represents a lot of activity in the home. Yes, it is sometimes smelly and pretty ugly, but it is your family’s trash.
Families generate a lot of garbage through the years. Not just the physical kind. There can be times of tension and strife; there are misunderstandings along the way. However, you’re still a family. Our trash can get smelly and ugly, but by the grace of God it makes the family stronger. When conflicts are resolved and relationships mended, love grows deeper.
Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
I guess today, I’m a little melancholy. I wish there was more trash to take to the curb this week. Our sons have moved on with their lives, (Johnny is in heaven) they have their own families and there own trash to contend with. My prayer for them is that they will enjoy the garbage as much as we did. There children will grow up and move on with their lives too. They will be down to just a couple of bags of trash a week before they know it.
I want us all to take a deeper look into the family garbage can. It is smelly from time to time and it gets a little ugly, but it represents the deepest earthy relationships that we can have. Generate as much physical trash as you can with your kids!! Enjoy carting your garbage to the curb. Before you know it, you too will be down to a just a couple of bags a week.