Just goes to show you can't take it with you...

I know many of you have had this experience so you can relate. Today was a sad day for me, and I didn't realize it would be. I got a call from my mom shortly after noon to tell me that the estate planners were coming over to meet with them to go through my grandmother's house. "GiGi" as we call her has Alzheimers. Her husband, Jim, is in the final stages of liver cancer. They just recently moved out of their house of thirty+ years to an independent living apartment complex. Mom wanted me and my sister to go over and get anything that we might want before the sale.
I got pretty emotional; especially when I looked out the window that overlooks the deck in their backyard. There is a swing there that every single one of my kids loves. She only lives two blocks from our old house so we used to walk over to her house all the time and no matter what the weather, they would always want to go out there and swing with her and Papa. So many memories came flooding back to me when I looked at it and I couldn't stop crying.

I looked high and low for some things that would be meaningful to me.

Here is what I came home with:

My mom said this mirror has been in the family for awhile. She remembers it when she was a little girl. I hung it in my master bathroom.

This mirrored tray is really cool. It reminds me of my Gigi because she always smells so good. Whenever she would hold one of my babies we could always smell Gigi on them long after she had left. I approriately put all my perfume on it. Every time I spray some on I hope to think of her.

This was kind of a random thing but Gigi has a MILLION candles and this one was a favorite scent that I remember her house smelling like so I brought it home.

I love this little clock. She had it on her fireplace mantle in her formal dining room as long as I can remember. I put it in my office.

This was something I got for the kids. She gave it to Papa LAST christmas and I don't think he ever even played it. It is really cool because you can program it to play songs and the keys light up to show you what keys to play. It is really nice and they are fighting over who gets to play it as I type this.

It just made me realize how silly we are to spend our whole lives acquiring things.

In the end we just sell it or give it away. We can't take it with us. The things that mean the most to us are the pictures and memories. That is why I decided that I am going to rotate through my kids and let them take a day off from school to go spend one day each week with her until school gets out. She never gets out anymore. She can't drive and my grandfather is usually too weak to take her anywhere. One of her favorite things is when I go pick her up and take her shopping and to lunch. I decided today, though, that I want my kids to have more memories with her too. Who knows how much longer we will have that chance....

One of the greatest tender mercies I have been afforded in my lifetime is the closeness I share with all of my grandparents. They are all still living and have had EXTREMELY close relationships with my kids, as well. Contrast that with my husband whose granparents have all passed on and who my children never really knew. I realize it is a blessing. Family is what it is all about, folks.


Sarah said…
i miss you girl-- you always get me thinking-- thanks for being so insightful!
Anonymous said…
Sorry u had a rough day. Yr right 2cherish all the time u can & even the few nick knacks 4 memories. I only have my Mom & Gma left. 1 very frail & 1 in remission so who knows? I do enjoy the few things I have of my Father's and gparents that have gone- u do that.So grateful 2 know that families r forever! I love you. Stacey
Karen said…
How lucky your are, indeed, to have grandparents who are not only still with you, but that you and your children have the opportunity to build great relationships with them!

I think you should go take a bunch of pictures of that view of the swing from the window.

Thanks for the reminder that the memories are more precious than the "things"!
Amanda said…
I really LOVED this post Shahna. thank you for sharing this with us:) I LOVE your idea of letting your kids each rotate days off to create special memories with her too. And your so right the "things" we acquire are just "things". "TIME"--is the one "thing" that i believe in the end we will all wish we had more of.
Texas Lisa said…
I can relate to being so close to your grandparents. My perfect Grammie passed away a little over a year ago and I still cry for her all the time. Thing are so precisous to hold on to and pass down so I guess that is part of their importance.


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