A Lifetime of Memories

We spend our entire lives creating memories; going places, doing things, meeting people, striving to achieve our goals.

I know I’ve collected different things over the years and cherish those items. I have some things that belonged to my Mom as well as my Grandmother’s. They hold prominent places in my home and my heart.

So what do you do with those things, those cherished mementoes, when you can no longer live alone and have to move into assisted living? A lot of places only have a one room efficiency apartment. If you’re lucky, you get 2 rooms. How do you decide what’s important to make room for?

I have a 2nd cousin on my mom’s side of the family who is the last of that generation. She’s 91 and doesn’t have any other family besides a step-niece and us cousins. I admire this woman! She has always been independent, traveled extensively not only in the US but abroad, supported herself as well as her mother and took care of her mom until she died.

Now THAT’S a woman of independent means!

But her health has dictated that she no longer live alone. She was lucky in that she obtained a 2 room apartment in the assisted living center. Still, the dilemma remains in what to take to the center and what to sell. I can tell you, it isn’t easy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
(None of these ladies are my cousin, btw.)

The step-niece, my female cousins and I have been helping her get settled; unpacking boxes, rearranging furniture, hanging pictures, etc. In other words, making those 2 rooms into her new home. I know she’s sad about leaving the house she has lived in for years, but like the other women in the family, is pragmatic about life.

Could you do it? Condense a lifetime of living into such a small space? I’m thinking I need to start wading through my stuff now. I’m such a pack-rat that it’ll probably take me 20 or 30 years to get to that point. 🙂 Or are you going to hang on to everything, then let your descendents worry about it?

What are your thoughts on what sentimental items to keep vs the bare necessities? How could YOU condense a lifetime of memories?

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About Linda Trout

I'm a retired accountant who loves a little space around me. What better way to think of new story ideas than under a tall tree, birds chirping, gofers digging, dogs barking, and cats demanding to be in your lap? When I'm totally bored, I climb on my Harley and go for a ride. That'll blow the cobwebs out of your brain.
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8 Responses to A Lifetime of Memories

  1. Marcy Smith says:

    Assisted living? I’d need one room just to house my genealogy records, computer, counted cross stitch and quilting. I’d need another room for the fabric and instruction books and pets. I know! I’ll become the live-in recreational director!

    • Linda Trout says:

      There you go, Marcy! Recreational director would be perfect for you, especially since you already have most of the stuff the ladies would enjoy. 😀

  2. Ashlynn says:

    I like minimal stuff. I have a few things from Gran (stepdads mother) that I have in my hutch. Other than that, there isn’t anything really sentimental to me. Although I do have 1 plastic container each of my kids things when they were babies. I kept it to one though. 🙂

    And if I ever have to go to a home or something? I need my computer! And some pictures of my family. That would be good for me.

    • Linda Trout says:

      I thought about that yesterday, Ashlynn….going somewhere w/o a computer. Don’t think my 91 yr old cousin ever really got into them, but I’d need to stay connected to the world. I know you’d DEFINITELY have to stay connected. Otherwise you might go (ahem) crazy. LOL ♥♥

  3. Susan Shay says:

    I’m a keeper, Linda. I keep everything. (Sad to say.) After the wreck, I kept a napkin with my mom’s lipstick print on it FOR YEARS. (I might still have it somewhere.)
    Maybe I can just hire someone to take care of me in my own house with all my stuff when I get to that point. I don’t want to leave it behind.
    But if I have to get rid of it, at least I’ll have my memories to take with me. No one can make us get rid of those!

    • Susan Shay says:

      PS: I’m cleaning out a closet and just found my 2nd ever contest entry. (First one after I’d joined critique.) LOL! I did get rid of that!!!

      • Linda Trout says:

        Um, yeah, you can probably get rid of that. Oh, wait. I think I still have a few of those myself. Ugh. Definitely time for me to start shoveling. 😀

    • Linda Trout says:

      Susan, I don’t blame you for keeping the napkin with your mom’s lipstick print. That’s very personal. I like the idea of having someone stay with me until the end of my days. But you’re right, no one can take our precious memories away from us.

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