Yesterday, was one of the harder days of going through our parents’ things. Some of the most valuable possessions they had went to new homes. I don’t suppose everyone would find these items valuable, but to us they are priceless. The two old trunks that had belonged to Dad…his personal trunk and his military trunk, Mom’s wedding outfit and Dad’s wedding suit, Dad’s Army Air Forces dress uniform, his daily wear uniform, and his military coats, as well as his medals, and the Bible Mom carried at her wedding, all found new owners, and for some of the things, new homes. It felt really sad somehow, that these things wouldn’t be together anymore, but yet we also felt very blessed to receive the things we did, because they would now be treasured by a new generation of people. Our children and grandchildren will also get to see them, and hear the stories about the lives of their grandparents. The blessings are definitely there, but it still feels sad to separate the things forever. They have been in the same house for 56 years.
The process of separating our parents’ things moves so fast sometimes that we don’t even think about taking the time to take pictures of these most precious items…until later. The good news is that they are not being sold, so we can will have other chances to get together, and the smaller items that should be grouped together could be brought together again. We also all have the ability to take pictures of those previous items and send them to each other. Nevertheless, the feeling that the order of things just isn’t right anymore, continue to persist. I know we all feel it, but I think maybe for my sister, Cheryl Masterson, it s just a little bit more pronounced. The home she has lived in for so much of her life, just doesn’t look quite the same as it always has. Of course, the things in the house are the least of the changes the house has seen in the last seven and a half years. The biggest and most painful change is that the people who always graced that house, our parents are gone now. The things in the house are secondary to that loss, by a great distance, but nevertheless, they still feel like a loss.
I guess, the main reason that it feels somewhat right to divide up our parents’ things is that it is the only way that we can keep them close to each of us…their things that is. We each, always have Mom and Dad close to us in our hearts, but having their things around us…brings them just a little bit closer somehow. That is really the reason why people want their parents’ things…to make them feel closer to us. Each and every time we look at their things, their memory instantly appears, and that is, after all, the purpose of mementoes. For us, the sadness appears when we realize that the wedding dress and the wedding suit will live in different homes, the uniform and the medals won’t be together anymore. And eventually their home will take on a new appearance. It will be Cheryl’s home, and it will look like her home, and not Mom and Dad’s anymore. It is a sad reality that we all must face.