For Momma - Memorial Slide Show (Turn Playlist Music off before watching)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Mystical Power of a Treasure - Can you let it go?

This is been a tough year for me and many of my Geneablogger friends. I don't recall who it was of my Facebook Friends that declared it the “Summer of Sorrow”, but, they sure had an appropriate name for the Summer of 2010. For a while it seemed as though everyone was suffering through the passing of a loved one, whether it was a spouse, parent or close relative, it just seemed to be continual. Personally I don't like the word “loss” because you really haven't “lost” them, to me that means they can be found. Condolences and how to offer them is a subject for another time, so I will drop that for now.

I enjoy reading all the blogs about inherited or found family treasures, don't you? Sometimes I feel just a “tad” jealous, OK maybe a little more than a “tad bit”, that some seem to continually to be gifted with family heirlooms and others have nothing from their ancestors. This summer we have been moving my parents into an assisted living patio home. In doing so my folks have had to part with many of their personal treasures. Treasures collected over the 68 years of marriage. I think it was bitter sweet, especially for my Mom. I know it had to be hard to give up things that held special memories. I had asked if I could have the set of Tiffany wine glasses that graced her china hutch as long as I can remember. They are very delicate with tiny roses etched on them and they hold a memory of a special day. The wine glasses had been purchased with money given to them on their wedding day by my Dad's parents. Believe it or not, I even have the canceled check that Grandpa wrote for $17 , and marked “Wedding Gift for George and Lucille”. (How's that for citing a source? Ha ha – a little genealogy humor.) I loved my Mom's attitude about parting with her treasures. She said: “I can still enjoy seeing them in your china hutch.” Today the wine glasses gracefully sit on the top shelf of my china hutch and every time I look at them I'm reminded of my parents as a young couple picking out something really special with their wedding money.
There seems to be something mystical in holding an heirloom. Just knowing that 50 or more years ago an ancestor held and used that item seems to give us a physical connection to that person. I have a few handmade quilts made by my grandmother, when I wrap them around me somehow I can feel her. After all she spent hour after hour with the quilt in her lap as she sewed each square, so surely some part of her remains. The real treasure was Grandma herself, but I think we all cling to the things we can still see and touch every day,

It's wonderful when you are on the receiving end, but, can you let go of your treasure? Take a long hard look at the treasures you have surrounded yourself with in your own home. Can you picture them gone? If your spouse were to die would you be able to part with his or her family heirlooms?

Join me tomorrow as I share the pain and joy of parting with my husbands family treasures.....


  1. Thanks for your post Terri - I am the "keeper" of the family photos and could never part with any of the originals, however I also have an antique Davenport desk that I inherited from my Dad. It's beautiful, but the veneer is suffering as a result of my central heating and my house is very small and the desk doesn't "fit" with my modern furniture. Look forward to tomorrow's instalment and maybe your lead will guide me as to what to do. Jo

  2. Oh, Terri, I am choked up already. As you know, Man and I are facing this right now. One thing I am doing is photographing so much of this, then, when, and if, we decide to distribute items, we will still have a photo to remember. I'm with Jo, guide us, I know you will have good advice.

  3. Terri I so understand what you are saying about your mother's things or your grandmothers. I have been through a terrible experience with my step mother this summer as she sold my mother's possessions one being a gift from my uncle her brother back in the 1960's. She did not understand my wanting some of these things. I finally told I would buy the things I wanted from her. Which she agreed to. It has been very painful for me. The family home is being sold also and she will not even let my daughter rent to buy it from her. It is all about money to her.

  4. I'm always interested in what others are going through in this department as I am in the same boat. Lovely post. I can't wait for more.

  5. It's nice to hear other perspectives on this. At least going to a home, one has a few things they can still have and have to decide with out hurting anyones feelings why they didn't take something you gave them.
    Because I had been obvious about being a keeper of the family information and genalogy, I was given things like that. Things my father kept dear to him. I believe too pictures of things can help.

    I am glad you shared. It's making me think, if my children will know what is special.



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