I thought this sounded like an interesting exercise, especially if a cap - say 10 - were placed on the number of items allowed. How does one decide between clean underwear and a toothbrush? Photo albums and the camera that captured the images? The watch your mother gave you as a child and the earrings your husband gave you on your wedding day?
I meandered through every room in my house, weighing the - per the site's creator - practicality of some items against the value and sentiment of others. In the end, I narrowed my list down to these 10 items:
I selected these 10 items assuming that all members of my family were safe.
- Purse. Including my purse feels a little like cheating, as it contains a number of items I'd otherwise need or want to include (Will's epi-pen and inhaler as well as my wallet, medications, and sunglasses), but the purse itself is technically just one item so it requires just one slot on the list.
- Laptop. I could live without and eventually replace my cell phone and tablet, but my laptop? Absolutely not. My laptop is an extension of me - it connects me to my friends and family, is essential to my career, and guards the stories and photos I want to remember in the years to come - and losing it in a fire would be devastating.
- "Important Documents" folder. My practical side insists on including the folder in which I store all of our birth certificates, social security cards, marriage license, etc.
- Emergency Preparedness Kit. My practical side also insists on including my Emergency Preparedness Kit (not pictured), which is stocked with food, water, a first aid kit, a weather radio, flashlights and batteries, an emergency blanket, a tarp, maps, duct tape, and activities for the kids. Including the kit feels similar to including my purse, but since I carefully packed the kit more than a year ago and it's contained in one carryable tote, it only takes up one slot on my list.
- Winnie the Pooh. My mom and dad gave me Pooh Bear after we were in a car accident when I was just a month old. I slept with him tucked under my left arm nearly every single night until I graduated from college, and after that I kept him close by in my nightstand. I love him.
- Roar. In times of sadness, struggle, and/or uncertainty, Will's beloved Roar gives him comfort.
- Blankie. Hallie never attached to a stuffed animal or lovey the way Will did, so I'd bring her blanket to help her feel safe and secure.
- Jewelry (in the little blue zipper purse). I'd bring the diamond earrings Tom gave me the night before our wedding, as well as two rings and a pair of earrings I had made out of a diamond and sapphire ring that once belonged to my Grandma Hallie.
- Wedding photo. I don't have a digital copy of my favorite photo from our wedding, so the framed print would be clutched in my hand on my way out the door.
- Camera. I'd bring my camera, not because it's expensive or because I consider it a "must have", but as a symbol of starting over and the joyful experiences to come.
What would you bring?