View Full Version : A reminder to myself

7-8-12, 12:27pm
I have read here many times that things are not our family, and we don't need things to trigger memories. (And I've read in some books about hoarding that the idea that things trigger memories is a symptom of hoarding.) It has never sunk in to me, because I love the idea of having something that belonged to my family members.

My uncle passed away suddenly a few years ago. None of us were ready for that. He was a musician and wrote gospel songs that he sang at our church. One of my most cherished gifts is a notebook of his lyrics that my aunt gave me.

My cousin inherited his guitars, and she plays some of them. But she does not play his favorite guitar, and recently she gave it away to a talented musician and evangelist who was visiting their church. It was a great act of faith on her part, because the guitar was an important part of her father's life. Incredibly to me, the act of giving it away has not diminished the memories of my uncle and his music. Instead, the fact that it is still being used in a way that my uncle would have loved, rather than being stored and unused, has become a part of my uncle's story even after he has gone.

I can't adequately express how I feel about it. I was sad at first, but thinking about this gift has blessed me more than her keeping it ever would. I think it is because knowing she had it only reminds me that my uncle is gone, but knowing the guitar is being played by someone who appreciates it the way my uncle did reminds me of my uncle and his talents and all the times I listened to him sing.

Just a story that I thought people here would appreciate.

7-8-12, 2:39pm
Thanks I]Tiffany for sharing your story. I too hold onto some items that were from people in the family that have passed. Like my grandmother's engagement ring and wedding band. A Christmas manger that was my grandmothers that some of the pieces still have the Woolworth stickers on the bottom and I was told that some of the pieces belonged to my great-grandmother. So you are not the only one who is sentimental. I think some people are more sentimental than others...

iris lily
7-8-12, 7:22pm
I beautiful instrument, being used by a talented musician for performances is a GREAT use of your uncle's item.

I know that for me, and for most people I know who have some interest in getting rid of stuff, getting it into the hands of someone who appreciates it and who uses it is key.

Last weekend I visited my brother and SIL. My SIL has made an "old fashioned" room out of one of the bedrooms in her house. In it is a mix of antiques from her family and from my family. She kept saying, as we sat in the parlour settee, "do you want this?" or "Please take that if you want it" but I was pleased to see that old stuff that belonged to my mother and had no craving to own it. I liked visiting it in(and this was important) the way that SIL had laid it out. It was being used and enjoyed, not just junked up in storage somewhere. That's nice.

7-9-12, 7:48pm
Yes, I agree. Objects belong to the people who will use and love them. It is an act of courage to give away a prized possesion from a deceased family member. I concur with above posters that say it is an excellent way to honor his memory.

Thanks for sharing this story.

Mrs. Hermit
7-9-12, 8:06pm
I gave my grandmother's engagement ring to my son to present to his fiancee. She loved the idea that the ring had been in the family so long, and loved the setting (and it even fit her without alteration!). My Dad was so happy he cried when he learned that the she is treasuring and wearing the ring.

8-15-12, 10:48am
I gave my mother's good sterling silverware set to my nephew and his wife when they got married. I have my grandmother's china and the china cabinet my dad made for my mom to pass on to the next 2 nieces to get married (if they ever do, seems like no one ever gets married any more!) I also have an afghan and patching pillow my mom wove to pass on to the next in line. I look at it as care taking for these items for the next generation.