Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K.....is for Keepsake

How many of you have keepsakes? Those little things that, by themselves and out of the realm of your memory, are nearly worthless...but to you, they mean the world.

I have locks of my babies' hair and baby teeth. I have a napkin from a restaurant where I had coffee and conversation with a love interest. I have a silly little wooden postcard from my first boyfriend. I have a charm from a machine at the dime store imprinted with my own and my best friend's names from back in the 60's. I have a tiny trinket box from an old friend of my parents. I have beads and ribbons and pins. A strip of pictures from the booth at the five and dime. A dog collar from my first dog after I was married and the bell charm from my precious cat who lived to be 17. Pressed flowers, movie tickets and old valentines. Each one holds a dear memory.

I have many keepsakes and throwing any of them away is absolutely out of the question. What does one do about that? I have come to the conclusion that I will leave that job to my daughter as most, if not all, of my keepsakes mean very little or nothing to her. She will have to handle that after..........

I wonder, as we've had to clean out keepsakes from older relatives, if the items could only talk. If they could tell us what they represent and the memories associated with it. Don't you think that would be a wonderful story? I believe that a keepsake dies when the owner does, as the memory associated with it is no longer there. It just becomes an item once again and, unless you have a memory associated with it to keep it alive, it can then be discarded without emotion.

Do I purposely take out a box and go through all my keepsakes? No I do not, as they are not all together. I have them tucked here and there through-out my house. I come across them randomly and when I do, I let the sweetness of the memory take over. Some of them are so strong, I can even smell the fragrance associated with certain events. That freshly cut hay from the barn for example. The memory has my attention, all to itself.....which it deserves and that breathes new life into it so it will not fade. All memories are potent but bittersweet ones are the strongest....don't you think so? Yes, I am sentimental......I can't imagine being any other way.

What are some of your treasured keepsakes? Do you keep them all together or do you scatter them like I do? Sometimes its just plain good for you to stop and remember.......those cherished memories.

9 comments:

Maria said...

I keep only things pertaining to Liv. The truth is that I am not very sentimental and also...when Bing's aunt died, we went through her apartment and the closets were literally stuffed with keepsakes and mementos. We pitched it all since it meant nothing to anyone but her. So, I vowed that no one would ever have to sift through four closets after I died.

Happyone : ) said...

My keepsakes get less and less every time I look at the things I have saved.
I've given all the things I've saved from the kids back to them and now they can do what they want with them. : )

fiwa said...

I am terribly sentimental. Here are some of my favorites:

Part of a ring that my very first boyfriend gave me. Also the key of a heart and key pendant that he later gave me. A piece of wood from an earring that I purchased on a wonderful trip to Costa Rica. A recipe for Crab Gumbo - my mom's signature dish - written in her handwriting. A cross that belonged to my grandmother on my mom's side. A small silver heart that was my mother's when she was a girl - one of those that people traded as keepsakes with their friends. A pair of earrings that my husband gave me when we were still dating.

They mystery of keepsakes makes me think of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, all the things that fall out of the scrapbook that seem so insignificant yet have so much meaning.

Leann said...

I am not a super sentimental person but I have a box of keepsakes. I had all of the kids put away, but as they grew older I gave the boxes to them to do as they wish. Most of the things they threw away. As you said, it is not a keepsake unless there is a memory associated with it. My most cherished is a cross necklace that my Uncle who passed when he was 18, had given to his mother (my grandmother who has now crossed over) before his death.

dana said...

I think there's something wrong with me. I'm not sentimental, and I have NO keepsakes. In fact, it has recently been my quest to remove ALL of my prior life. I came across a little packet of my daughter's baby teeth, and MY baby teeth. How sentimental is saying "Blech...those are TEETH!" and tossing them? I'm doing that with everything. Gone. Over and done with.

Martha (MM) said...

Love this post. I have way, way, WAY too many things like this. Many from before I was married are all packed away in boxes, others since are all over the place. I am the same way with many of the things my children made throughout the years.

I will say this though, my mother saved everything, alomst to the point of hoarding. I know each and every one held special memories for her, but it has been very difficult for me being the one to go through all the stuff now that she's gone.

It has encouraged me to start going through things of mine too. I don't want my children to have to deal with the things I've had to deal with.

As soon as I move I'm going to get started and I have some really, really great ideas that I will be sharing on my blog once that time comes.

ethelmaepotter! said...

This is my favorite thing you've ever written, maybe because I can so closely identify with it.

I have my baby's hospital bracelets and my OWN hospital bracelet; I have every piece of artwork my chidren ever drew; I have old report cards; dried flowers; old Nancy Drew, Donna Parker, and Trixie Belden books; starched paper roses that are faded almost to nothingness after 16 years in the kitchen window.

Like you, I've often wondered what will happen to my keepsakes when I...? And so I am adopting this BRILLIANT motto of yours as my own: "... a keepsake dies when the owner does, as the memory associated with it is no longer there. It just becomes an item once again and, unless you have a memory associated with it to keep it alive, it can then be discarded without emotion."

Thank you so much.

Beverly said...

I have the old glass milk bottles from the days of home delivery. My dad was a milk man and I use to help him on his route in the summer. I use to hate getting up at 4:30 in the morning to help him but now that I'm grown have come to realize that those were times that my Dad and I grew closer. Got Milk?

Found your blog via the A-Z challenge. Following You! Come on over and say "hi".
Blue Velvet Vincent

Margaret Hall said...

Amazing, these keepsakes, huh?..I certainly do have some, mostly from the kids, but still have my old school yearbooks, some pics of the chums, a bracelet given to me by the Ex, (go figure),...and little momentos that are from our pooch that left us after 15yrs and 8 months last June 1st..Arghhh, we miss him so much, still have his collar and leash on the counter in the kitchen...*sigh*...Thanks for taking us down memory lane again, my friend...
Hugs...

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