Some of the first items I tackled were my old toys. How many dolls must a grown woman keep for memories? Yes, I remember my sister and I playing with them, and the memories are happy, but one or two special dolls will suffice. My sons certainly won’t know much about them, and any kids they might have probably won’t want to touch “those old things.” So, I’ve kept a few, and the rest will go in a garage sale, unless the internet yields some exorbitant prices for them.
The next box revealed books. Books, books, books. Hardcover books I saved from when my mom died. We cleaned out my parents’ house because my dad was going to live with us, and we moved her books to our house. They were great romantic suspense novels by Phyllis A. Whitney, Victoria Holt, and M.M. Kaye. I’d already read them long ago, and I prefer to read off my kindle now. I donated them to the assisted living facility my dad resided in. They were happy to get “new books” for their library. My mom would have loved the idea.
Another box was pictures. Now, I have to admit, I’m not the photo album type, or the scrapbooker. These pictures were tossed in willy-nilly, and I regret that now. However, it has been a wonderful journey sorting through them, looking at candid wedding photos of two generations before me, as well as my own family’s photos. Black and white pictures of men in button-down shirts and wide-legged trousers lined up beside women in shirtdresses with little hats on their heads. 1940s cars range behind them, along with clapboard houses or city buildings, serving as backdrops from another, simpler time.
I love a mystery, and these photos, with only a date scrawled across the bottom of some of them, provide insights to a bygone era of my extended family. I can see family resemblances, but is it Uncle Nick, or someone else? Is that my mom and dad kissing in the desert? When did they go there? And who is taking the picture? I’ll probably never know, although, since I posted some photos on Facebook, cousins have reacted, asking about them. So, maybe I’ve begun the investigation after all.
Sifting through the boxes of my past seems like a worthy endeavor. My sons appreciate it; they’ve told me so. It will be hard enough for them to go through the things we use on a daily basis. Yes, it’s a very sensible activity. What’s even more amazing, is how enjoyable it is. I get to see my mom and dad again, when they were young and strong, not crippled and forgetful. I get a glimpse into their pasts, discover who shaped the people they became, as well as remember the loving couple I am proud to call Mom and Dad. What a treasured gift this undertaking has given me.
Have you gone down a memory lane similar to mine? I’d love to hear about your experience!