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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Have you ever been asked a question that caught you off guard?  So off guard that you didn't know how to answer it even after you had time to think about it?

My dad passed away several years ago and my mom's been paring down her house recently.  Her boyfriend has moved in with her and they have been working out how to combine to households into one.  They have each been taking things to the Hospice House resale store and Goodwill.  In the summer, my mom would like to have an auction to sell the larger items they have left, which includes most of the tools and items from my dad's garage, but also many things from the house as well.  My mom is adamant that she doesn't want us, her kids, to have to deal with all of this after she is gone.

This process is what sparked the question.

"What things would you like to have out of the house?" my Mom asked me recently.  "The grandfather clock that Grandma made is yours, she wanted you to have it, but what else would you like someday?"

Having already lost my dad, even entertaining the thought of losing my mom completely blows my mind.  So, when asked what I want...the only thing I can say is to not need to want anything!

She asked me to think about it.

I have. 

I still don't know much.

The first thing I thought of was my dad's hammer.  He had a hammer that had his name engraved in the side.  It's the hammer I always remember him using and I remember always thinking it was cool that it had his name on it.  (Oh, the things we find interesting when we are young!)  So, that's on my list of wants.

Honestly, I don't know what else to say.  How do I know what I will look back and wish I had?

Besides, of course, my parents.


  1. Beautifully said. But I know what your mother means. I have loads of "treasures" but I really want to know if my children think they are "treasures".

  2. It is hard to think of our parents not being here. I understand your mother's thinking and it is a good thing she is doing. Take some time, look around, and ask yourself what will help keep your mother near.

  3. What a difficult decision! Love your response - "to not need to want anything." I love Elsie's advice - "ask yourself what will help keep your mother near."

    Thank you for this post! Beautiful.

  4. Great advice. I have my parents' bookcase, my mother's nursing pin, and my father's college diploma. They keep them near.

    Love your last line. Good luck.

  5. Well, Robin, my children have already taken quite a few things, so that helps me. I am willing to give them anything, so that helped too. When we all really need things is when we're first married, but now everyone has full households. I think Elsie is right too, and I love that you want the hammer. It will be a wonderful thing to pass on. I have a few tools with names, too. Maybe that was something people a generation or two back did? Best wishes to you in your talks with your mom.

  6. The hammer is special. But, I'm with Elsie - I'd follow her wise advice.

  7. That must be difficult knowing that your mom will be auctioning off many of your father's things. People say that you shouldn't hang on to material things but when they have so many memories attached it is hard not to. It seems like the older I get the more nostalgic I get. I have always made it clear for Ashley whatever she wants of Trent's she is welcome to because I know that she needs them just as much as I do to feel Trent close by. Maybe that is what your mom is trying to tell you is that she wants you and your kids to take some of your father's treasures home because it will be a way to carry on his memory for generations to come. These keepsakes spark stories that can be told and retold. Ask your kids what things they would like to have and tell the stories.

  8. I lost my mom almost 6 years ago and I ended up with boxes of her things because I just could not bear to have them given away. I know tho that it will be hard for my children to have to deal not only with my things but also my mom's. My husband's father had his kids list what they wanted a number of years ago - that is what they will get. I aim to take pix of those treasures that I want my children to kep - with their story.