It’s funny the things people keep. I’m not talking about collecting things, like stamps, figurines or motorcycles but other kinds of things.
I can remember my grandma had a tin full of buttons. I’m not really sure why, she didn’t sew, at least not that I knew of. My daughter is having a garage sale soon and my mom and dad are nice enough to give her many things from their house. An old outdated coffee table that hasn’t been used in 20 years, an old bicycle from the attic that is missing the handle bars; why did they keep it?
Why do any of us keep anything?
I’m not really sure but I think it may have something to do with our need to hold on. Each one of us is hard wired to need other human beings throughout all of our lives. We are born into need. A baby can’t survive if it isn’t first bound inside his mother, needing everything she has to give. And once he is born, he cannot survive physically, psychologically or emotionally without the loving care of another.
So it’s natural that we transfer this to stuff. The stuff means something so we keep it.
My husband has these tiny little glass dogs that he kept when they cleaned out his parents house. His dad had them in a drawer and my husband can remember fondly playing with them and then making sure they went right back where he found them. It was like his dad was extending a daily invitation for him to come and play; to remind him that his daddy loved him and wished him joy. Simple but profound. Who wouldn’t want to hold on to that?
My sister keeps a jar of sealed pasta sauce above her cabinets. Her husbands’ Italian grandmother, from the old country, jarred it many years ago. There are memories of her Italian cooking and how it pulled everyone together, how love was felt in those warm moments. That jar will never be opened and yet it’s flavor gets tasted by everyone each time they remember. Healing, grace filled moments to soothe the soul. Who wouldn’t want to hold on to that?
The pieces we keep help us hold on to one another. Even though it’s just stuff it teaches us that each one of us leaves an impression, a mark, an influence.
What pieces have you kept?
What pieces do you hope others will keep of you?