I spent the morning cleaning out my hope chest. My mother gave it to me forty years ago to start storing items for my home because I was supposed to be hoping to find a husband. I did.
For years my hope chest has been used to store my things I wanted to keep but did not need on display.Here’s a list:
High school graduation dress
My first grown up dress
Favourite baby dress of my daughter
Favourite baby outfit belonging to my son
Ingenue magazines from 1970’s
Diary from 1966, completed to March
Wedding guest book, cards, receipts
Husband’s university jacket
Apron my aunt brought me from Portugal in 1960’s
Children’s favourite squeaky toy
Bikini from honeymoon
Letters from everyone
Contract drawn up my my brother and me when we were children outlining study rules
Sassy’s tag and Sock’s collar
This is not a complete list but you get the idea.
Things are added and every five years or so things are removed. This year I read the diary and then shredded it. I threw out my husband’s jacket and the grown-up dress.
I threw away a doll I had won at a community Christmas event when I was about 5 years old. She was beautiful once,reminding me of Elizabeth Taylor. Now her face and arms had pen marks, her shoes were missing and her red dress ragged. My daughter had never played with her and I doubt if a grandchild would.
You might think having kept those things for so long that I felt a twinge of nostalgia when throwing them out. Not at all. I had the memories and, rationally, I knew they would be thrown out eventually. It was their time.
Ordinarily I can part with things.
William Morris once said never have anything in your home you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
Beautiful and useful things I would find difficult to leave behind, but beauty remains in the memory forever and I can buy new useful things.
People would be most difficult to leave behind but that is a whole new post.