There is nothing remarkable about the fact that I threw my few-month-old toothbrush in the trash a couple of weeks ago and plucked a new one from the cabinet. The bristles at the edges of the old one were bowed out and I was beginning to sense that it might not be optimally effective. Perhaps it is a bit more telling that, at the time, even though my former beau and I had broken up, I couldn’t yet bring myself to throw away the spare toothbrush he kept in the bathroom cabinet.
I actually had it in my grasp and was about to toss it, but somehow I wasn’t quite ready yet. And I’ve learned to be gentle with myself about the weird small things I sometimes feel inclined to hold onto for just a bit longer. Even now, it’s there, occupying the space next to mine, tucked close to the edge — in part to go undetected by the children.
It’s not likely to make the next round of bathroom cleaning. In fact, it make not make it through the day. If we were to change our minds, to find our way back to each other, the cost of a new toothbrush would certainly be no barrier or hurdle. I don’t think that is likely to happen. Yet I let it rest in its place, a single small reminder of the sweet and wonderful things its user brought in to my life for a while…and I smile fondly.