Friday, May 6, 2011

Collecting Memories

For the past several years now, whenever we make our once yearly trek to my mom and dad's home, they always encourage us to put our names on items that we would want after they are gone. I know, kind of creepy huh? My sibs and I have verbally said "No way Mom!". But then we each do it quietly.

The reason I know we are all doing it is because when I have lifted a painting to mark it with my name,  I have found my brother or sister's name there already.

This year was different. As you know my mom has been in a life and death struggle this last month. So as I spent my nights in my parent's home without my mother's presence, it brought the facts home to me brutally. My emotions went many different directions at once.

  • How are we going to survive as a family without Mom?
  • I hate how cold and empty her house feels while she is in the hospital. Is this how it will be when she is gone?
  • What in the world are we going to do with all this stuff?
  • I should choose some things that represent my mom.
  • But she collects SO MANY things, where to begin?

My mother has always loved garage sales and flea markets for as long as I can remember. Of course this leads to becoming a collector. And that she did! In a big way!

My parents home is small. But it is packed with enough stuff to fill a grand home. She is an artist so it is also filled with her creations, which I love. I have my name on the backs of some of those paintings. I especially like the flower one which is a new, big deviation from her normal barn motif. My mother is also a lover of old books just like me. Or I am just like her I should say, since she got me started in the adoration of old, musty smelling books from generations ago. 

I am hoping and praying that her collecting is not over just yet. No, I do not want more things from her nor do I think she needs more pretties in her home. But I want her alive for some more years and if that includes adding to the things I will have to sort through some day, that is fine with me!


  1. I'm sorry your mom is struggling right now. Before I lost my parents I thought that it would be easier, I mean we grow up knowing we're going to have to face it, but it's not easier. I pray for you that she pulls through and you have many good years left with her. And that painting of the flowers is gorgeous! My name would be on that one!

  2. I pray she recovers and can add to that huge collection too. Lovely paintings and what a book collection. Wow.

  3. I'm hoping she pulls through. My prayers are with you and your family.
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  4. What a nice post about your Mom. I hope you have many more years with her also....

  5. We're no where close to dying, but we've already done the thing your folks do with you. In fact, a lot of the things "signed for" have already made their ways to their respective destinations.

    Interesting question: "How are we going to survive as a family without Mom?" You will survive by remembering and sharing the stories, which will keep your mom alive and present.

  6. Sorry to hear of your troubles - I know how weird it is to choose what you want of your mum's, as my mum has done the same thing!!

    But while it will be nice to have mementos and keepsakes, you won't need them to remember her.

  7. Great post. Someone else might have said, "why did my mom collect so much useless things", but you hold it in respect and that shows how much you love her. I hope she is doing better!


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