Have you ever wanted to wipe the slate clean, hit the reset button and start an entirely new life? KCTV5's Brad Stephens introduced viewers to a man who's doing just that.
Ed Harrison is watching his old life slowly slip away. With each item a customer buys at his estate sale, a part of his past walks out the front door - gone forever.
"They pick it up - it brings back all the memories of when I got it, where I got it, what it meant to me at that time," Harrison said.
Many of his belongings come from far away countries that Harrison picked up while on international business trips.
Jean Martin drove in from Lawrence and dropped more than $500 on several items including hand-carved sculptures from Laos.
"Not something you see every day. Absolutely not. We're very much into this kind of thing," Martin said when Stephens commented to her that the sculptures will be a conversation piece.
From the clothes in his closet, to the dishes in his kitchen, Harrison is selling everything, including his house.
"I know this is a lot to do to get rid of a life's worth of stuff. If you're actually doing what you want to do, you're gonna be much happier. God only knows how much time we have on this planet, so I might as well do it while I can," he said.
Harrison's view on life altered dramatically when he received news that would change everything.
"A number of years ago I got cancer and got sick - that is a big eye opener," he said.
So he re-evaluated his life and decided to pursue his passion: Cats. Big cats.
"Once you're around these animals you get completely hooked. It's impossible to not want to be there," Harrison said.
The "there" he referred to is the National Tiger Sanctuary just outside of Springfield, MO. Harrison has volunteered and helped with fundraising projects for the sanctuary for years.
"Some of the cats we get are in pretty bad shape, emaciated, under-fed, some have been incredibly abused," he said.
Harrison said tigers come to the sanctuary from a variety of places such as zoos, circuses, border seizures and private individuals.
The sanctuary is moving to a location near Branson, MO, which will give the cats more room to roam. And Harrison will be right there with them as he'll be living at the sanctuary and taking care of the tigers around the clock.
"It's time for me to retire. I'm only getting older, I'd rather do this while I have the vitality and energy to do it," he said.
Back at his estate sale, Harrison hopes to sell everything. What doesn't get bought will go to charity and all the proceeds from the sale he will donate to the tiger sanctuary.
"I don't regret what I'm doing. These are things, these are not important. The bigger picture is more important," he said.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.