This past week my sister Ann, brother-in-law Samuel, and I worked at cleaning out our parents’ house.
We are looking at 70 plus years of accumulation of “treasures” and oddities so this is going to take a while. We spent four hours there on Monday and didn’t even make a dent.
What we did do is unearth a lot of memories. We learned, as we suspected all along, that our parents had kept every card, letter, photograph, and gift anyone had ever given to them. They cut out every article that mentioned any of us and tucked it away for safe keeping and remembrance.
There was one little box with a clear plastic lid. In the box were yellowing newspaper clippings documenting any achievement either Ann or I made in our lifetime.
We discovered that our mother had pairs and pairs of shoes, many still unworn and in their original boxes. She liked purses, too, and apparently never threw one away when she had finished with it.
In a dresser drawer I found a giant yellow plastic comb that I had bought for Daddy when I went to San Francisco on my eighth-grade trip. My little eighth-grade mind thought it was a funny gift. So did my dad, so he kept it all of these years. Not I suspect, because he thought it was funny, but instead because his little girl had bought it for him.
And then in the corner of the bedroom closet, I found the treasure of treasures. I found the hats. One in particular: It was the little white hat that my granny had worn to church almost weekly. I was so excited to find the hat that I wore it with my t–shirt and sweatpants for most of the day.
I even posted on my social media page a photo of me wearing the hat. One response from my cousin Barb was that anyone who went to church with her (Granny), knew that hat.
Now (for the time being), it is perched on the corner of the china hutch in my dining room. Considering the dining room furniture was left to me by Granny and I live in my grandparents’ former home it seemed a fitting place to display the hat.
I’ve said it before, and no doubt I’ll say it again: Our memories are important parts of who we are.
Ann and I were lucky. We had two of the best parents ever. So when we find things that we may see now as being a bit humorous, we are reminded that the two people who left those things behind loved us beyond words.
We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but what we did have was a warm, welcoming home filled with an abundance of love.
Yes, this is going to take some time to go through this house. We may get tired, and we may get stressed a bit, but we will get it done, one memory at a time.
Life if good today . . .
— Kathy Craigo is a publicist, speaker, and life coach. She owns Kathy Craigo Media Consulting in Colusa. Contact Kathy Craigo at firstname.lastname@example.org.