The Ties that Bind Us

This is one of the last times I will sit in this sofa in this house. One of the last times I will watch the birds gather in the bushes for their evening meal. Removal boxes are stacked in every room, little green stickers have found their way onto select items of furniture. My parents are packing up their house, and this weekend I will move from the basement to the attic as we clear out old rubbish, decide which things to donate and which things they just can’t live without.

So far I’ve rescued two of my mother’s paintings from the discard pile, put my mark on anything to do with cake, and an old terrine that I have no idea what to do with but that I could never let go because my grandfather found it many years ago. There are a lot of other things like that in my life. Ornaments, memories, little pieces I cling to because they’ve always been around. The lille porcelain bowl with swans that was always on my great-grandmother’s dining table, the water jug that my grandmother used, the candlesticks I had in my bedroom when I was fifteen and in love for the first time, my old stories and report cards.

morfar's terrine

All these little pieces help make us who we are. They’re our history, our memories. Worthless to anyone else, but utterly precious to those of us who remember them. They remind us of loves ones who are no longer here, of Christmases from years ago, of warm summer evenings.

I can travel light, I’ve lived in lots of place without any of these things. But I feel better knowing they’re in my life. Minimalism may work for some people, but I will always hang onto the special items that remind me of the people I love. One day I hope my son will look at these things and take the vases, the bowls, the terrine because he just has to have them. Because they always stood on the table in the house in Langeland, or in the windowsill in Copenhagen.

I’d rather have to pack the extra boxes than be without them. I’m sure there’s a story or two in there somewhere.

 

Author: Eva O'Reilly

Writer, avid reader, large dog lover, cake baker and Francophile. Living in hope of finding either a literary agent or a large audience on Amazon.

14 thoughts on “The Ties that Bind Us

  1. I in fact use many traditional things that once belonged to my grandfather and great grandfather like a small table I put my collection of trophies on and a bible that once belonged to my granddad, They bring a special life to my surrounding. It helps me remember them and cherish them. I simply loved my granddad and cried a lot when he passed away. I mean I ‘cried’. Anyway, i know he’s in heaven and he had such great dreams for me. Things that he passed on to me remind me of what he saw in me. Inspires me to do more. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂 God bless!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I still cry when I speak of my grandfather even though it’s been almost 17 years since he died. I miss him so much. I have his keyring so I can still be close to part of him every single day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. Grandparents are a significant part of our lives! My granddad dies about two years ago. I now use the room he used once and he’s everywhere. His tons and tons of files, old photos….. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bittersweet. Among other things are the letters I keep from my mother from decades ago when they lived overseas. I don’t read them, as she is having memory issues. I try to stay in her present. But someday I will. Surly things can bring such emotions!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Definitely. I have a box of old letters and cards that my grandmother sent me when I was at university. When I stumble across them I always pause to read them and always come away with that bittersweet feeling ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. totally understand this. My house is now dotted with things of my mums that I just havent been able to part with since she died 18 months ago. I have weedled them down a bit over the months but still things remain and so her memory continues. Not in a negative way but in a being reminded of the good times way. I think its so easy to get rid of everything then come to regret it later.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Heart touching….
    I am also in the habit of keeping together little mementos from every place or occasion I visit…SO now I have this huge collection of pebbles, key rings, bookmarks, brochures and other knick knacks which I have brought all the way from far off places only to keep them by my books..
    My book shelf just gets bigger every time I bring something…There is no losing anything

    Liked by 1 person

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