My house may seem cluttered but I'm not a hoarder - most of the stuff I have is either functional or sentimental (or both).
Over the break I have been going through said stuff and weeding it down even more.
Suddenly I had a moment of panic where I remembered an exquisite eastern parasol that my mother had as a child and that I had been carrying around with me for years.
Omigod! Where could it be?
I searched every orifice, already knowing I wasn't going to find it and, sure enough, it was gone.
I felt sick.
I know virtually nothing about my grandmothers, who both died before I was born.
My mother doesn't know very much about her mother either as she was born when her mother was 40 then got shipped to her sisters when her mother checked herself into a nursing home at age 49 with Parkinson's Disease. Two years later my grandmother had an operation on a kidney and woke with dementia, then eventually died at age 55.
My fathers mother died on his 21st birthday when she went to open a farm gate and the tractor she had been driving ran her over.
I have absolutely nothing from my fathers mother (except her first name) and from my mother's mother, only a necklace, an eastern style shirt and middle name.
When my children were young, I decided our heritage had to start somewhere so I bought two chests and started putting things in them and over the years my mothers, mine and the children's (including their other families) treasures have become all mixed up.
Over the holiday period I had a brainwave to separate out each of our memories into our individual cases or chests. I realised that I couldn't assume to know which pieces of our family memorabilia would be meaningful to which child. Also - with our stuff in separate cases, whoever looks through them will get a clearer picture and context of that individuals life.
Lastly, I came to understand the chests as being metaphors for respecting each of our individuality without being encroached on by anyone elses 'stuff'.
When I realised I had lost my mothers precious parasol, suddenly I was hit with the reality of being the safe-keeper of some of my family's special things. I have, not a moment to soon, had my take-it-for-granted blase attitude reamed out and refilled with humility and sense of the honour of this responsibility.
Thrust on the heels of that realisation, I got a thrill of excitement when I understood it was time for me to create my own chest (all of my stuff had been put in either my mothers suitcase or one or other of the children's chests) making this the first time I have acknowledged that I have my own precious history that's happened of its own accord by virtue of time, that is just as worthy of preserving...
Pimp My Attitude
This is where I think out loud as I transform my appearance, thought processes and most of all, attitude - no matter how unpretty.