A recent story on my beloved National Public Radio (NPR) has grabbed my attention. The news article discusses the victims’ feelings when thieves steal items that have sentimental value. I quote from the article:
“When something sentimental is stolen,” says Kelley Richardson, who lost a necklace that was in a box her father had brought back from Vietnam, “it’s not that they stole a possession, but more like they’ve stolen this tiny piece of your heart.”
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, as I continue on my quest to unclutter my house and my life. I’m finding it easier and easier to give things away, even expensive items, to someone who will use and enjoy them more than I do. But I’m having much more difficulty with the sentimental items.
Again, from NPR’s article:
That’s exactly how I feel. I greatly enjoy using my grandmother’s piano, my grandfather’s screwdriver, and the crystal goblets that my (other) grandmother gave my mother and which she has now passed on to me. I have a piece of needlework which my mother started, my grandmother finished, and my grandfather mounted. I am so glad that I have these items. Of course, I would remember my grandparents without them, but I get much pleasure from using them.
It goes without saying that the photographs of my kids as they have grown are too precious for words. (And no, I’m not at all biased. Why do you ask? :-))
But I simply do not have room for everything. And I do not want my home to be in any way museum-like. (Um, considering the mess, there’s no need to worry!) Clear and open space in my home makes me feel calmer and more relaxed. I’d like to have more relaxed feelings and less Stuff.
So what do I do with these lovely items? For example, my grandfather’s chess set. It’s beautiful, but no one in the household plays chess. Or the small red rock I picked up while on a trip to Sedona with two of my best friends. Or the statue of a horse that my favorite (older, idolized) cousin won for me at a fair, when I was about 10. Do I keep these items, stored in a box somewhere? Deep down, I’m afraid that if I let them go, the memories they contain will be gone as well.
What would you do? Do you have sentimental items that you don’t know where to keep but with which you don’t want to part?