10 June 2023

Little Memories Everywhere

 It's been two weeks and one day, almost to the minute as I write this, since my mother-in-law died.  Life is slowly returning to normal and everyone is making adjustments, as needed.  

Kevin phoned me the other morning and I didn't really think about it.  Then he mentioned that he used to call his mom this time every morning and he was just missing her.   I miss her when I'm working in the garden, mostly.  The other times is when there is something Christmas on the television because she loved Christmas so much.  

Anyway, this morning I was thinking of her and started to notice the things that I kept of hers.  They aren't wealthy, never were, so it was always the little things she had that meant so much to her.  She'd keep things with such childlike wonder that eventually you loved it too.

She rarely bought anything new for herself.  As I was packing up their house, it kept making me laugh. I would have to assess if something was valuable or a keepsake or second-hand.  Invariably, I would turn whatever it was over to find a goodwill sticker on it.  Valuable to her, just not to the rest of the world.

Also, she did a great job of giving us stuff toward the end of her life so that we knew the importance of it.  I wear her original wedding ring and her "mother's ring" (with her kids, grandchildren and first great-grandchild's birthstones)  I have her childhood jewelry box and some of her china and glassware. With retrospect, she saw this coming and planned to best her ability.

But it's the little things that I kept for myself as I closed the house that mean more to me.  For example, two oven mitts and two kitchen towels because it makes me think she's helping in the kitchen.  

I found these two items in her cupboards: a green glass measuring cup that has Kelloggs embossed on it.  I did a quick search and holy wow, it's valuable.  It's uranium glass from the 1950's.  

The brown jar is probably not valuable but it is pretty
Both items used for hummingbird feeding, which would please her so

She gave to Kevin this dashing gentleman while we were closing the house.  She had a box in the closet that was labelled "Mom's things" and it turned out to be figurines of her mothers. Kevin has wanted a dachshund for forever and this will have to do until we retire. One of the first ones was a boxer dog that we immediately gave to my s-i-l.  It was strange how she had two figurines of dogs we both have/wanted.  

This was something she had recently bought and made me happy when I noticed it.  A Pride candle.

Then I would find little whimsical things like these in her plants:

She had this little dish to hold her earrings and rings, even though it had a plate hanger on it:

Then there was this.  It was in her bedroom and on her side of the bed.  It is not at all my taste but for some reason I felt compelled to keep it.  It sat in the mud room for about a week before I walked with it throughout the house until I found a place for it.  It's large and as we know, I have lots of artwork and photographs on my walls.  Real estate is rare for blank walls.  Finally, in the last room, I found a place for it.  Unfortunately or fortunately, it's above the toilet in the main bath:

18x20", gilt frame with red inlay

Returning back to when we have moments of sad and we miss her, I can look around the house and find her in the little things.  We are ignoring that Kevin can be reminded of her while he's peeing.

Somewhere I just heard her "Oh, Surely!" and I'm, again, grounded.


Swistle said...

This was such a perfect post. You are making me feel real affection for your mother-in-law, and her dear possessions---and then right at the end, as I am reflecting on the ways I can and do incorporate my own beloved relatives' beloved items into my household: "We are ignoring that Kevin can be reminded of her while he's peeing."

Gigi said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt post. I'm so glad you have her things around your home to keep her memory with you.