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She sat on the front porch going through an old trunk that I had brought down from the attic. As we opened the trunk I watched her eyes light up with the memories its contents brought back to her. The wedding dress from the ceremony 68 years ago, the swimsuit she had worn in a beauty contest nearly 70 years befIMG_4213ore, and little dresses she had dressed her two daughters in when they were just babies. Each item old and showing its age but still clear in her mind and special in her memory.

We were finally getting her home ready to sell and part of that process was preparing for an estate sale. On this day my mother-in-law was getting her final look at so many of the things that had been precious to her for so long. All of these items that, not too long ago, had seemed so important and now would be sold to str
angers as they wandered through the house looking for a good buy.

Just the day before all the grandkids had walked through the same house trying to decide what they wanted. Something that would hopefully remind them of the wonderful times they had with amazing grandparents. Old tools, dishes, articles of clothing, military mementos all had special meaning to each grandchild who are now adults and have their own homes.

As each of us nears the end of life we face, along with our family, very challenging decisions that can be painful and divisive.   Families must work together to make sure the memories of our loved ones are not damaged by selfishness and petty attitudes about stuff. Stuff, no matter how special it has been during life, is never more important than meaningful and loving relationships among family.

As my mother-in-law continued throughout the day to look through the things that brought back so many special memories I was reminded how blessed I am to have lived life with her. What a gift she and her husband had blessed me with the day I married her daughter nearly 37 years ago.

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3 Comments

  1. What a sweet lady and what a full life! Saw some of the very things you wrote about. Special memories, special family.

  2. Very nicely put, and a part of the reality of life.

  3. Love this and you Uncle Jon : )


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