Some years ago my mum moved from her house of over 4o years to an apartment complex. It was a difficult transition, not only for my mum, but for me and my siblings. We sorted and organized and cleaned and sorted and threw out and sorted and kept and tossed and… You get the idea. It was long. And it was painful.
Just over two years later mum decided that it was time to leave her two-bedroom apartment and move to a one-bedroom suite in a retirement residence. Once again we sorted and organized and tossed and kept and…
“What’s this?” I asked my sister. “Didn’t we throw this out the last time?”
I held up a thin, worn blanket. A blanket that many years ago wrapped precious items bought in England and given in love. A blanket that kept those things safe from breaking as we traveled the ocean to all the promise and adventure of our new chosen home, Canada.
Karen looked over from the box she was opening. “I’m sure we did,” she answered.
“Oh my goodness! Come here, Denise.”
There in the box was a pile of material we had found in the attic of the house. It had not survived being stored in the attic and the decision had been made to throw it out. But, here it was again. Obviously Mum had reversed the decision and washed and kept the material. Mum had made most of our clothes and, as many of her generation, hesitated to throw anything away. We found bits and pieces of various shapes and sizes.
“That’s from my Grade 8 graduation dress!”
“Mum made that dress for me the summer I met my hubby!”
“Do you remember this dress of Mum’s? She wore to death!”
I held up a jar. “And what are we going to do with these? Do you think Mum will do any more sewing?”
To others it was just a jar of buttons. To our mum it was a jar full of memories. A little white button off one of her baby’s knitted jackets, knitted by her mum. A fancy gold button from a smart navy blazer. A brightly coloured button from a favourite dress long gone. And many more…
Tears filled our eyes as we looked around. These were not just our mum’s memories, but ours as well. Blankets, buttons, books, tablecloths, fabric, precious keepsakes, furniture and more – each filled pages and chapters of our lives.
Let’s journey together…