Moving Mementos


I kept it all. The first strands of hair cut, each baby tooth left for the tooth fairy, works of art, awards & trophies, photographs, scribbled notes, and colored cards my children made for me.
Alone now, surrounded by mementos and moving boxes, I attempt to decide what is trash or treasure. Should I toss the dance costumes? How about the clothing my children wore home from the hospital? Or their awards for science fair, cheerleading, or track?
Perhaps only empty-nester moms cling to keepsakes of children gone and mementos left behind, for my children appear far less attached to their memorabilia. My inevitable downsizing move from our two-story home into much smaller quarters has necessitated the reduction of items to be stored. Like sifting on a riverbank, I attempt to extract the gold from the gravel although the ordinary gravel can seem extraordinary in retrospect. What makes an item a keeper? Why keep one item over another?
My childhood fits in one small box, easily contained but immensely treasured. My Brownie handbook, a VBS project, scrapbooks, and yearbooks from school are included in my treasure chest.  Each item in my childhood time capsule reveals influences and interests. Collectively they tell the story of my life.
And so the items I’ll retain will tell my children’s stories, and show the hand of God in their lives. For example, as a young girl Lauren talked about being a teacher, a counselor and, as you can see in this picture, a nurse.  I had forgotten about this picture until I found it last week. I’m so glad I kept it because this summer Lauren began nursing school. I’m so proud of her.
I guess I’ll continue consolidating my children’s story boxes and find space for them. I believe one day Lauren and Timothy will want the treasure inside.  I’ll treasure them until they do.
  1. Celeste Vaughan, 02 October, 2011

    Great post. I’m cleaning out as well and consolidating. It’s so hard to decide what to keep, but I think you made it easier…keep thingsnthat wil be important to their overall story. Thank you!

  2. Vonda Skelton, 04 October, 2011

    I’m afraid I regret not keeping stuff I got rid of through the years. Precious, precious memories. Blessings on your move!

  3. jorae, 07 October, 2011

    Thank you, Celeste and Vonda. Moving has reminded me that things are just things. However, the sentimental woman that God made will still cling to some treasures that others may find worthless. They are pieces of a story yet to be told. Blessings to you both!

  4. Cathee Poulsen, 16 October, 2011

    Jo Rae

    What a poignant, sweet story you share in this blog. Moving on is never easy and sifting through the emphera of years past is sometimes the most difficult part. You’ve let us into your heart and by doing so, touched ours.
    If I’d been anywhere near Greenville and had even one more day, I would have come to see you. Wish I could have made that happen.
    Drop me a line and let me know where you’ve landed and what beautiful things Jesus is doing in your life.

    My love,

    Cathee

 

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