Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What to do with all the stuff.....

Well Ladies and Gentlemen (If there are in fact any guys that read this...),

The time has finally come.  The Mr's Pa-Paw has decided to move from his home in South Mississippi up to North Mississippi to live with my in-laws.  This is a HUGE answer to prayer for both my mother-in-law and her sister!  It has been hard for them having to keep tabs on Pa-Paw when he lives 6+ hours away!

Now, Pa-Paw is one of the sweetest, nicest Pa-Paw you will ever meet.  And he has held on to his independence for as long as possible, plus a little longer than we would have liked!  Him moving up here to live with my in-laws is a huge blessing!  We would only get to see him twice a year before.  Once at thanksgiving, and one at Easter for the family Reunion.  Now we will get to see him so much more!  He will get to see his Great Grandchildren grow up. 

But, as it happens, when you get into your elderly years, and live alone, your body starts to wear down, and you really just need someone else to be there to help, so we are all very excited to have him moving closer.  My mother-in-law has had to make the 6+ hour drive (one way) the past 2 weeks, plus she's leaving again tomorrow to make the trek again, to take him to several Doctors appointments.  That's a LOT of driving.  She's tired.

We had a family dinner last night so that we could discuss what to do with everything in his house.  There is A LOT of stuff to sort through.  The generations that came before my generation, well, they tend to hold on to everything.  I remember going through my grandmother's house after she passed away and I'm pretty sure that she saved everything.  My generation?  I think we throw away too much too easily.  Things are made differently than they were back in the day.  Things were made to last whereas today things are made to be thrown out and replaced with the new trends that blow in and out.  The other generation has much more sentimental value than my generation does.  

But I get it, as much as I can anyway.  I'm only 26 years old, my life is really still just beginning.  Whereas Pa-Paw, He has lived his life to the fullest, He is nearing the end of His Life here on earth.  His house, his possessions, they all hold dear memories for him.  It's not that he is materialistic, I'm pretty sure he could care less about his things ... It's that...

...the Kitchen Table?  That's where He watched his little girls grow up.  That's where he listened to their giggles and chit chat as they told him about their day as school.  That's where He held Ma-Maw's hand every night as He blessed the dinner that she prepared.

...The china that might be a little out dated for our young, modern tastes, that's from the day when his Love became his bride, when He vowed, before God, to Love, Honor and Cherish her All the days of his life.

...the bowl that doesn't seem to be of importance, that bowl held years and years worth of banana pudding, which is a pretty serious matter down here in Mississippi.  How serious is banana pudding around here???  Serious enough that Banana pudding was the Mr's Groom's "cake".  A while our actual wedding cake (which was delicious mind you) barely got touched, ever single bit of that 50 lb+ (that's not a lie, it took me and my mom to carry it) bowl of banana pudding was gone.   

...Those bookcases, well, he built those with his own two hands.  This was back when D-I-Y was a fad, it was a way of life.  And those shelves are filled with pictures of his kids and grandkids, his pride and joy.   

So as much as we may roll our eyes and snicker about all the "stuff" He's saved and kept, and in our eyes "hoarded" over the years, things that we think He should have gotten rid of years and years ago.  They are more than things to him, they are memories, they represent pieces of his life. 

And yes, it's going to probably be a pain to sort through it all, and it might be a little troublesome to figure out who takes what and where it's all going to go to keep the important things in the family.  And we will probably sigh a little, and think it's silly just how much stuff He held on to over the years. But, even if it is just a corn bread skillet, or just a picture that hung on the all for half a century, there is a world of memories behind it.  They all hold a special place in his heart, bring back the nostalgia of times long sense past, represent memories that he wants to hang on to. 

What about you? Have you ever had to go through a parent or grandparents belongings and decide what was worth keeping and what was to be given away?  How did you handle it? 
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  1. Hillary, this is a beautiful post. I only have one grandparent alive so there has been a lot of sorting done in the last few years. The hardest was my grandma, since we did all the sorting and giving away the day after her funeral. It was just too soon. The last time we were at my dad's parents old farm house a few years ago I did a walk through of the house and picked up a cast iron skillet (a square one!) that my grandma used. I cherish it now! It would be very very hard to go through stuff while the grandparent is still alive. That has not happened in our family and I can see how that would be hard.

  2. I love your perspective on the meaning behind the items he's kept. We recently inherited a set of china dishes from my aunt's parents when they downsized to move into assisted living. They aren't related to me, but I still appreciate being able to eat off of a 50 year old set of china that was once given to another set of young newlyweds!


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