Sunday, July 11, 2010

What Price Memories?

Last weekend Big Boy and I FINALLY managed to sort through the huge pile of boxes we have had sitting in one of our spare rooms for YEARS. The local RSPCA shop went into shock at the huge deluge of kids toys, clothes and other bits and pieces which landed on their doorstep. Well, actually the comment was: "Thank goodness the truck is here, we'll have to send some of this to the warehouse."

And that wasn't the all of it. Some I gave to friends, some I have kept to sell on eBay, some has been put into the appropriate space - that is either the bin, or its proper place. But one thing sorting through these boxes has done is pull forward a whole bundle of memories.

I am a hoarder. I freely admit this side of my personality, embrace it even. And as my mother, Wise Woman, tells me, you can't keep everything! I know they are just things, and that things are the physical not the emotional, but it is like a smell or a song can trigger a forgotten memory, a much-loved toy or a well-thumbed book can do the same. It is not necessarily the thing itself that is important, it is the emotion attached to the years of connection.

I sold my Giggles doll on eBay. She came complete with original box, wobbly letters with one reversed spelling out my name in a childish scrawl over one corner. I have boys, and thought it was silly to hold onto her, but that was wrong. I regret the sale though she fetched a pretty penny. I miss her, or at least the young girl buried deep inside me misses her. She took some lovely little girl secrets with her, and yes I shed a tear.

I still have my childhood guardian, he sits on my bed ready to listen in the dark hours. His fur has been drenched with tears, he is matted and his coat is dull. But his arms still embrace even this chubby adult body, as tightly as they did the frail frame of a five year old. I have fought my sons for him, and although he does do special sick bed visits, he is the one thing I have refused to surrender to those little thieves of my heart. In that Wise Woman does not nag, for she has Edward, her childhood companion. And at nearly ninety years old he is worth far more than a 1960's dusty old bear. And neither shall ever be sold, for they are items far more precious than mere money.

What about you? Have you discarded something and then regretted it? How do you put a dollar amount on an item of love? Or are you ruthless, one of those de-clutter your life gurus? What is your price for memories?

Oh, and I have someone here I want you to meet. His name is Pandy. He holds safe the heart of a little girl on her fifth Christmas morning.


Anonymous said...

I'm a recovering hoarder. I moved so much growing up that I lost most of my childhood things. I've had to be strict with what I keep now because there's just no room to put anything here. I still have boxes in the shed of Js stuff though.

Ro said...

Yeah, regretfully gave away some much loved goodies but it had to be done, the lack of space was getting serious and we were in danger of becoming one of those families they dig out 100 years after they've died surrounded by piles of stuff that mummified the bodies.

Kakka said...

I am a hoarder too, trying to declutter, but not all that successful. I have my old teddy, way worse for wear, but he is sitting in a cupboard. I am now going to get him out to join the new teddies that sit on a chair in my room. He is mainly in the cupboard to keep him safe from children, he is very fragile. But the kids have left the building (so to speak) so it is time for him to come out into the light again. Thanks for reminding me of the special things we keep. xxx

Epskee said...

I am the original anti-hoarder. I hate things lying around! I will admit though that in my desperate need to be rid of all things not immediately useful, I am touched by sentiment and long cherished memories. These I take photos of before passing on.

There is however, in the deep dark depths of my wardrobe, a slightly worse for wear item hellishly out of fashion, complete with stains, holes and a missing button. This would be the elephant my nanna sewed for me when I was born. Her name is elly, she is made from scraps of material, weighs around 10kg and is about 60cm long. I still have photos of me as a baby/toddler sleeping on top of her. And despite having no useful purpose whatsoever, I cannot bear to be parted with her for all the tea in china.