Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Maternal Musings

Today, in a sunlit spare room upstairs, I spent an extraordinary afternoon with the contents of small ordinary looking box.
In a corner of that room, lie two very large rubbermaid totes filled with memories of my mother.  
Totes filled with precious personal things too sacred to discard -- things that need to find a new home somewhere and which by some nebulous design, became the assignment of this first born daughter. 
So ill-suited to the task.
I wondered if today would be the day.  

In one entire afternoon, I managed to rifle through just that one little shoebox sized container, discovering (among other treasures) this well-preserved professional portrait taken in the late 1940's in Rotterdam.  
That's my mother in the middle - parked between her parents and brothers.  
The lighting is perfect and the pixels so crisp I can almost see the colour green of her eyes.  
And then it struck me.  How surreal this moment was! 
....to finally begin the process of picking through my mom's things and 'randomly' start with a box that she had, as first born daughter, kept of her own mother's memories...
The newspaper obituary, the funeral service program, old family photos, hand-written letters & cards of condolence from her church family and abroad...  
All perfectly preserved and protected for the sake of posterity - for such a time as this? 
I am oddly without words sufficient to describe the feeling of this experience. 
At once tingling the spine & nourishing the soul.


  1. I have boxes of "memoirs" from Dad and Mom here. My task is to somehow create a book so that each sibling can enjoy a peak into their lives. I am always moved to laughter (and tears) while reading my dad's little notes to my mom before he left for work. He always managed to rhyme using dutch and english together. I don't think he knew she saved every one of them until we found them while sorting through her things. Now to find someone to name the people in the photographs......

  2. Hi Sue! What lovely memories those are AND the type that can be easily immortalized in a book as well. Thanks so much for that idea by the way - Blurp.com is an online 'bookmaking' program that is fun & easy to use. I highly recommend it and will start my book by scanning these photos into my computer library. *sigh* Why does it feel like we need to retire from life itself to get things done?Regrettably, I am also now the keeper of several images I have no way of identifying anymore... a good warning to the rest of us to get our own 'pictorial house' in order. Meanwhile, I hope sunshine kisses the rest of your week both Inside and Out!


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