as the oldest child, i’ve been the default keeper of family “stuff” like photos, scrapbooks, china, silver, and other things that wouldn’t normally seem sentimental. all this stuff sits in boxes or hidden away in closets. i love and miss my family members that are no longer here, but i can’t keep holding onto this stuff. boxes and boxes and boxes that are rarely opened… i don’t want to be responsible for all the stuff anymore. so i rounded it all up, had my siblings over, and we decided what we wanted (and what we didn’t).
in that process i found a wood box (silverware organizer?) that i had taken from my grampa’s basement after he died, and i decided that i was going to make a grampa box, and focus only on items that would fit within.
of the hundreds of photos, i chose a few that i loved (most also have my gramma in them). i added some of his pipes. i pulled his initials out of their scrabble game. i found little objects in the drawer that was in the end table in the living room by the davenport (loved that my gramma called her sofa that) — i was fascinated with that drawer as a child and going through its contents last weekend took me back about 30 years (i dumped the whole drawer into a shoebox after he died and it’s been in my basement for 5 years). i put the little objects into a small cigar box. there’s a small jar that contains his locks of hair (childhood curls?) and baby teeth, and my gramma’s engagement & wedding rings are also within.
it’s a little sad that my favorite memories of him are now contained in a box, but when they are the most powerful and meaningful memories, compact is ok.