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Thursday, February 18, 2016

The "Memories Are Forever??" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Carol had just packed the final Christmas decorations in the plastic tubs and placed them at the top of the basement steps for me to take to the basement and place with the other tubs.  For years we kept our Christmas decoration in the cedar closet next to our bedroom, but this year we thought it best to take them to the basement and save the extra effort it takes to place them in the upstairs closet.  As I picked up the final tub she asked me, "What will be ever do with all the decorations when we finally decide to downsize?
Artwork hanging inside the entrance.
 Matter of fact, what will do with all the photos and artwork we have hanging on the walls?  And, what about all those photo albums you made of our vacations we have taken since you retired from teaching."  You know, I have been thinking the same thing for the last couple of years, but figure we will find an outlet for all the items we have collected over our lifetime.  All the old photographs we have stored in boxes will be passed down to the kids.  Carol's jewelry will go to our daughter and daughter-in-law.  Many of my tools will find their way into my two son's garages.  But, that still leaves the decorations, photos, paintings, and other memorabilia we have collected together for almost 50 years.  
Photo albums of past trips Carol and I have taken.
I have 19 vacation albums that will probably be throw in the trash, since they mean nothing to our children.  Who's going to want the two coffee table's filled with sea shells or the eleven drawer antique cabinet filled with sea shells?  I actually walked around the house and found we have displayed 144 pieces of art and photography and that doesn't count the small framed photos sitting on tables and cabinets.  
Cabinet filled with old family photos.
I can remember a few years ago throwing box after box of "stuff" from my mother and father in the trash, since no one wanted any of it and it wasn't worth a cent to anyone but them.  The thing that worries me the most is what will our family and friends remember about Carol and me when we are no longer here?  How many boxes of "stuff" will see the dumpster when we die?  You know, that's one of the main reasons that I started this blog over six years ago.  I have been trying to document my life and the life of my family with stories from the past.  Sure, not all of my stories deal with my family and our journey through life together, but many have and hopefully these stories will be a link for my future generations to visit with Carol and me in the past.  
One of many collections of sea shells we have in the house.
Do you have plans that will help your family and friends remember you in the future?  With each generation, memories of the past slowly drift away.  Shouldn't you be creating a visual or digital record of your life and the lives of all around you so that generations that will follow you will have those stories to remember you.  It doesn't really matter how old you may be right now, since none of us know how long we may have.  Now if I only knew which family member to give all those seashells, pictures and Christmas ornaments I'd feel so much better.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary life.  

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