Saturday, November 15, 2008

sometimes, things DO matter

normally i'm not a materialistic person. it's not the things i have that make me happy and i know i can't take any of it with me.

however, things can make you happy. three years ago my brother and i went to wv to help clean out my maternal grandparents' house. my maw-maw died in 1999 and in 2005 my paw-paw moved into an assisted living facility.

today we started cleaning out my paternal grandma's house. my paw-paw died in 1985 and when my parents and aunt and uncle moved to nc my maw-maw did too. about a month ago she moved in with my aunt and uncle. they converted their garage to a really wonderful 'apartment' for her.

honestly i hadn't put much thought into the fact that we were going to help clean out her house today. all of the furniture has already been moved, most of it with her and i have her piano and dining room set. i have no attachment to this house because it is not the house i remember as a child. when she moved from wv to nc i was devastated because THAT house was the house i knew, the house my paw-paw lived in, the house i had so many memories of.

today we picked through the things left in her house; there was more there than i thought, which is hard to believe since it's such a tiny house. it made me sad. i broke down once, thinking about her things and the finality of it all. i picked a couple of quilts and some books, a few dishes. silly things really. one of the quilts used to lay over the back of their love seat in the wv house. i picked two ancient, chipped bowls--we used to eat cereal out of them as kids. i took a coffee mug that my paw-paw's company gave him one year.

i know it is inevitable, all these things cluttering my house now will one day be sorted, distributed and much of it taken to good will. i wonder what little things my kids will find, every day items, that will bring back a memory. will it be the faded, plastic, stained coffee cup i prefer? will it be a special blanket?

sometimes the things we carry through life do matter because they are the things of memories.


Heinous said...

I'm sorry to hear that.I still remember cleaning the house after my mom passed. There was a lot of memories attached.

Sherendipity said...

"silly things really."

No such thing, babydoll.

creative kerfuffle said...

heinous--i can't imagine cleaning out my folks house. it was hard enough going through my MIL's stuff when she died a few years ago.
shere--thanks. i think it would be interesting to know what things will mean something to my kids by that time.

Astarte said...

When my maternal grandmother died (I didn't know my paternal grandparents, or my father, either, for that matter), I went up for her funeral and to go 'shopping' in her house to take a few things. It was strange, because I had hated her, but still, that was the house I grew up in, and those things were the things of my childhood.

You know, that show Clean Sweep bothers me, because the guy on there keeps yelling at people that their stuff is just 'things' and not memories, but I seriously beg to differ. Smells and things trigger memories, and bring people back to us.

I'm so sorry you had to go through her house. I know it was hard for you. I'm glad you were able to take some things with you that represent her to you.

creative kerfuffle said...

astarte--i agree w/ you on the memory thing. in this case, my grandma is still alive so i had the added weirdness of taking her things while she's still around. i felt a bit like a vulture. and, in all actuality, i was closer to the grandparents i've lost than the two i still have around.