July 15, 2009

Heirlooms

Last week we drove two hours to meet my brother halfway between his home and ours. We had lunch and a very nice visit. My 5-year-old granddaughter met him for the first time. He brought the items I'd inherited from our aunt; all had been shipped to him, he then brought my items to our lunch date.


These "things" meant a great deal to my childless aunt, and she wanted me to have them. What really makes them special though, is that she wrote down WHY they are special - the cedar chest was given to my grandma by her brother on her 16th birthday, the china was a gift from my aunt to her mother (my grandma), the spoons were collected on my aunt's world travels with her husband. She also bequeathed the Christmas dishes to me, and the Christmas decorations to my brother; since we always spent our childhood Christmases with the extended family, these will bring back those memories each year when we use them. (I'm so glad that my brother was given the decorations instead of me - he has a huge house that is worthy of the collection.)

Why not take some time right now and write down why the items you've kept all these years are special to you? Otherwise, years from now, when your children or other family members work their way through your home they will find things that have no meaning to them. You might bequeath items to them in your will or trust, but without the history behind them it will just be a piece of furniture instead of "the cedar chest my parents gave me when I graduated high school, with scratches on the top where my beloved dog jumped on it to look out my bedroom window". How else will they know?

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