#517: Disloyal to Memories of My Parents?
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Of the things of Dad's I found as I went through things after Mom passed, are three silver-plated trays engraved with his name, given him by shipmates and people he supervised while in the Navy. They have been sitting in a plastic bin with his Navy uniform, medals, certificates, plaques, etc.
Yesterday a family friend said he had a friend who collected such things and used them on holidays to serve nuts and other things. He said she finds some at flea markets and some are engraved with such things as high school names. He wondered if I'd consider selling them to her.
This afternoon, as I polished them to get them ready for him to show her, I was hit with the feeling that I was being disloyal to my memories of Dad by not hanging on to these them.
I thought of my sister who says Dad was always mean to her although I only saw one incidence of that and of my younger brother who has never helped me sort through things in the seven years since Mom died so has no apparent interest in these and other things.
And I wondered, what purpose is being served by my storing these items in a back bedroom and what will my sister and brother do with them when I am gone?
I considered having them professionally polished and give them each one, but with the feelings they have shown, that didn't seem a good idea.
There are also things of Mom's -- silk scarves from various countries, ivory cameo brooches, a hand-painted quail egg, hand-painted decorative plates -- that make me feel the same when I think of letting them go.
Maybe this is how hoarders feel, as if by keeping things we are honoring our memories. But is it really? Don't our memories stay with us regardless of how much of a person's "stuff" we keep?
May I ask your thoughts?
Does giving these things (or selling them) to people who might use them mean I am somehow being disloyal to memories of Dad and Mom or am I honoring them by allowing some of their things to be used by others who will appreciate them?