Some things you never let go

Each week Saturday rolls around (hooray!) and there I am urging you to “Send it away Saturday”.  As 2016 draws to a close, here’s a different sort of post. Sometimes it’s easiest to find out what we don’t need by discovering what we do.

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This beautiful mismatched cup and saucer set was a Mother’s Day present for my Mom over 40 years ago. I always loved how pretty and dainty it was. Delicate thin bone china instead of our everyday clunky pottery mugs. Those roses just seemed so sweet. It sat in my parents house forever.

When I went back to England to clear out my Dad’s house,  I couldn’t find a way to bring it back to Colorado with me. I so wanted it but I didn’t want to break it. I took a picture of it and told myself that was all I needed. Practiced what I preach. It’s all about the memory not the thing.

And then yesterday a package arrived for me from Manchester. In and of itself that was an emotional event – my Dad died five years ago and that had been the end of packages from Manchester. An incredibly well packaged box full of Styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap and deep inside, this cup and saucer.

My sister had seen how much I wanted them and saved them from the house before the crew came with the dump trucks. She’d set them aside for me and now incredibly, here they were, sitting on my kitchen table in Colorado.

My Mom died when she was 40. There are so few memories of her, and this fragile teacup seems like the faintest of cords stretching back towards her. The thread is whisper thin, delicate and fragile, but it’s there.

I’ll never declutter this teacup or saucer and when it comes time to evaluate other things, the comparison will be clear. Does this make me smile? Does this touch a chord? Does this mean so much more than the thing itself?

© 2013 – 2016 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.


Joyful Surroundings LLC – taming paper, clearing clutter, organizing homes and changing lives

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8 thoughts on “Some things you never let go

  1. I love this! I too keep certain things from my parents. I recently transformed my dad’s masculine armoire into a standing craft area for me. While transforming it, I was thinking that I was alone now in the states since my dad’s immediate family were in Italy. And wouldn’t you know it, I get a phone call of the only english speaking relative from Italy saying “hi” and hope all is well. It was very appreciated and made me feel grateful. Even though my parents are not around, I have to remember that there are others that are there.

  2. There are definitely items which carry heavy sentimental value. Those are the ones to keep! The ones that make you cry or smile or laugh… or maybe all three. I can only imagine the rush of emotion when you got that package. Your Mom died too young, but I’m glad you have this small way to connect with her every day.

    1. Thanks Seana. It’s interesting for me to ponder whether I would feel the same way about the cup and saucer if they’d been in my house all these years. But being reunited with them this way means they’re keepers. The way they got here also makes me appreciate my sister’s thoughtfulness. When you live on a different continent from your family, there aren’t so many everyday chances to appreciate someone so that was a lovely part of this whole thing.

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