Family Memories

Happy day after Mother’s Day! I hope all the mother’s who read this had a day full of smiles and pampering.

Most of you know that my mother moved in with us in January. It didn’t take long for us to realize it was time for her to not live on her own anymore. So, with her blessing around the first of February, we began sorting through items in her house. We were lucky because our niece wanted to move in, which meant we didn’t have to talk about selling it. Everyone in the family knows how hard that would have been for Mom.

So the process of sorting through and clearing out 40 years of accumulation began. It quickly became a reason to gather. Mom loved being in the center of things as work progressed, loved the camaraderie as we found beloved items from our childhood. This may seem a bit silly, but we got sentimental over a meat grinder. Mom always made the most awesome homemade minced ham sandwiches. 🙂

There was a calendar from our childhood with the dishwashing schedule. Trust me, with five kids constantly arguing it wasn’t THEIR night to do dishes, those calendars were a must for Mom’s sanity.

We found our beloved step-father’s well-used fishing hat. He passed away in 1993 and we all still miss him. P1110712

One of the most amazing finds was newspapers saved from when Pearl Harbor was bombed, when armistice was called, when J.F. Kennedy was shot. Those are now in archival packaging in the hopes we can preserve them.

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We also brought bin after bin of paperwork and pictures out to the house for Mom to sort at her leisure. She’s been doggedly going through it all and is down to about 10 photo albums. She kept hospital bills from when my sisters were born. I’ll post a pic of one of them here because, well, the cost of hospitalization for 5 days back then was a LOT less than these days.Hospbill

So now, my niece and her husband are ensconced in Mom’s home for the last 40 years, with her happy blessing. And we’ve had an amazing journey these past couple of months. We’ve laughed and cried over pictures and memories of events. And we all feel so blessed that Mom could be here to share it with us.

Something that could easily have been depressing turned out to be an awesome experience for all.

Have an awesome week, everyone!

Laurie

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23 responses to “Family Memories

  1. Reblogged this on Laurie Ryan's News and Information and commented:

    When Mom had to move out of her house, we siblings worked hard to make it a positive experience. We also got lucky, and it was. You can read more about it on the other blog I participate in at Over The Backyard Fence.

  2. Great story, Laurie. I remember going through my dad’s stuff with my mom and finding a doctor’s bill from when he broke his leg. I’m glad you’ve been able to spend this time with your mom.

    • Yep, medical bills have gotten a tad more expensive, haven’t they? Marie, you’ve been a huge resource through everything that’s gone on with Mom and I’m very, very grateful! I know you got this kind of time with your Mom, too. It’s precious time, eh?

  3. So special to be able to walk through time with your mother. Jack saved ‘special’ news papers too. They were intact so we especially enjoyed the grocery ads.

  4. What a great thing to do, Laurie. And what an amazing find to discover those newspapers! Isn’t it fascinating how certain items bring back a plethora of memories? I’m so pleased things are working out for you all.

  5. How cool is that? I love the papers and the hospital bill was enlightening for sure. What a nice way to remember the past. Who’s turn is it to do the dishes tonight??? 🙂 Jillian

  6. How lovely that this all went so wonderfully for you! You are a great daughter,Laurie, and so lucky to have your mother still with you.

  7. A beautiful tribute.

  8. Wonderful memories and sharing the process with all of you must have made the process easier. A step back in history too. So supportive for your mother too especially as your niece will be living there now. What a great family you are.

    • Mom’s been so great about everything. I think she’s happy here, living with us. She says she is and seems to be. But she also withholds comments to spare us when she thinks it’s needed. For now, though, everything’s going well. Thank God!

  9. What a lovely way of sharing memories and making what could have been a really difficult task so much easier. It must be a great comfort to your mom too knowing her home is still in the family. Lovely post.

    • She seemed to love having us all as part of the process. And she was VERY grateful for all the work we did. I think clearing stuff out and going through things has been on her mind for quite a while, but she didn’t have the energy or even know where to start.

  10. Valerie J. Patterson

    Good for you! Definitely the right way to handle it, and the memories probably just kept surfacing! I have that chore yet to do for my aunt’s home. I keep putting it off as part of the selling process. She resided there for 36 years and I just dread weeding through her treasured items and personal belongings. But you and yours had the right way of going about it. Hope your niece is happy there as well!

    • They DO keep resurfacing. She’s working on all the boxes of loose pictures now, organizing them and putting them in albums. It’s a continual walk down memory lane. I don’t envy you having to clear your aunt’s house. Do you have family that will help? I wish I could send some of mine. They’re really good at it!

      • Valerie J. Patterson

        Oh! Please send some of your family!! My nephew will help me and a couple girl friends, but I really do not want to do this. Packing up her life hammers it home that she is truly gone. I’m not a procrastinator by nature, but this I just keep putting off.

        I’m so glad your mom is enjoying making her new photo albums. It will be easier for her to take a walk through her memories with them organized.

      • I wish I could send them, Valerie. At least you don’t have to rush, right? When you get overwhelmed, you can set it aside for a while.
        As for Mom’s pictures, we’re already looking at bookcases to show off her new albums. 🙂

      • Valerie J. Patterson

        I keep telling myself I put it up for sell and that will prompt me to clean it out. I live so far away that I pretty much need to take one all-day Saturday and pack it up, make donations, and clean house. I’m also wanting to find a buyer who will take the furnishings in the sale.

        The bookcase sounds like a really good idea. Maybe you could scan several of her favorites into a digital frame so she can see them all the time.

  11. Pingback: Catch Up Blog… | Over The Backyard Fence

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