Slowly but surely I sift through boxes and plastic tubs of ‘things’; photos, letters, greeting cards, sympathy cards, thank you cards, drawings made by my brother and I as children and by the grandchildren, whole news papers and articles cut out (with words and sentences circled or underlined), all ‘things’ my Mother kept for almost 90 years. Yes, my Mother was indeed, one of the best keepers of things, everything that had any meaning to her and she hoped would have meaning to us. Amongst the collection of things, are her own musings about her day; who had called her, who she had called (the time and if they answered or not), where we were traveling on business, calendars filled with birthday reminders, doctor appointments, vet appointments and lists, lots of lots of lists of who had sent her cards and names of those to whom she had sent cards, monthly budget sheets, utility bills, doctor bills, drugstore bills, insurance statements, … I could keep adding to the things kept, but I think you get the idea. She also kept in this mix her opinions about today’s happenings in politics, religion, morals, family values, insurance companies, etc.
Some of the ‘things’ I’ve found are genuine treasures for those of us into family history. The discovery of envelopes and small boxes filled with old family photos, letters from family members long gone is truly like finding a vein of gold or silver! Nostalgia kicks in seeing the reminders of many family members so loved, so missed, but also fond memories that brings a smile to the face and deep in the heart.
My next task is to sift through what was special to my spouse; a collection of things stashed away in drawers, shelves, cabinets, boxes, closets, garage, and a storage unit.
It is up to me, the finder of all things kept, to make the decisions of what to toss, what to keep, what to sell, what someone else may want. It isn’t easy to give away their clothes let along decide what to do with things loved ones kept for whatever reason. I am glad Mother kept some things (the discovered family treasures), but not all things. My husband kept things he thought would have monetary value, found at garage or estate sales. It is a tedious task and deciding what to do with what can be, no IS stressful.
I loved (love) them both dearly and miss them beyond description, but my goal is not to become a keeper of all stuff and things. I don’t want my children spending hours, days, weeks sifting through boxes, papers, cabinets, storage units, etc. SO .. I’d best get back to the task at hand before it’s too late and my children have to pick up where I left off.