As I write this blog post, I am sitting at my grandmother’s desk. I didn’t inherit it from her originally. My cousin did because it matched the bedroom set from my grandmother’s youth. But, she wanted me to have it. She thought it might inspire me to write.
Many items in my office inspire me in one way or another. My grandmother’s desk is an obvious one. I’ve told me sons about other significant pieces in this room. It’s important for them to know the value, both sentimental and intrinsic. Someday these things kept for generations will belong to them.
These are what we keep that we cannot take with us. We leave them for the next generation so they remember other stories came before their own. These prequels connect with their personal quests. How do I know?
Because they connect with mine.
Some stories I only know in part. I have been told bits and pieces. My understanding is only as legitimate as the authenticity of the retelling. I will never know the full story because all I know is the value of age and era. And how my piece fits in.
Yet, there are some heirloom stories in this room I know from beginning to end. These are my treasures stored up not because of intrinsic value so much as personal significance. They link directly with my sons because they form the chain of my life.
So, I keep the diary with the gold cover stamped with the year I was born. I remind myself to tell them the significance of the plastic skull covered with quotations from Hamlet. I know I’ve told them about the antique copy of Jane Eyre. They may think they know why I have a copy of Farmer Boy on my shelf, but not all the reasons. Have I told them about the child-size teacup with rosebuds? Or the tarnished-copper, church-shaped music box that plays Amazing Grace? Have I told them why bookends of a boy and a girl keep the books on this hutch standing up straight?
If I haven’t I will. Someday.
After all, I’m not holding on to these keepsakes for only my sake. I’m keeping them for theirs.