Everything is temporary. This statement has resonated deeply with me over the past several weeks. My father passed away at the end of August, and although I haven’t taken time to truly process my loss and my grief, there is one dynamic component of loss that I’ve learned and that is, that everything is temporary.
Life itself, in the physical sense, is temporary. Experiences, events, and emotions are all temporary. The gifts that we so lovingly give to our loved ones are also temporary.
The gifts. That one hit me the hardest.
To sift through two lives, my mom’s and my dad’s, and all that accumulated over their shared lifetime of over 50 years together, has come down to me raising my hand as a gesture of interest to inherit a thing or an object. Most of the material things I had forgotten about, but some I had hoped would someday be in my possession.
As my two sisters and I shared a meal and reminisced awkwardly, we shuffled through pictures, clothing, furniture, knick knacks, dishes, jewelry, and all the things that shared space within the four walls of my parent’s home. We made piles as we divvied up the memories between us. I have sentimental attachments to some things, namely clothing and jewelry. For me, there’s something special about a jacket draped across my dad’s shoulders that kept him warm or a necklace that laid across my mother’s chest that I felt my heartstrings pull, so I raised my hand to plea my interest.
My pile consisted of all the photos I gave my parents over the years. I had a partial photo album of my wedding pictures I had given my mom and dad, framed Olan Mills portraits of my kids when they were young, and my kid’s school pictures that hung on my parents’ walls and sat on their mantle. A pocket watch, I couldn’t afford at the time, that I gave to my dad on his birthday or Christmas, honestly, I don’t remember. Ornaments and hand-made gifts, trinkets, and silly things that made me remember happier family times, all packed neatly into a box that sat at my feet.
It felt so odd. I was happy and proud to give these gifts to my parents and yet, like a boomerang, here they were sitting in front of me.
One of the items that I had only dreamt of having, was my mom’s china set. I wrote about the unique pattern of her dishes in my book, My Soul Contract, and described how I chose a black rose as a symbol to connect energetically to my mom’s spirit. I wrote, “I had been enamored with my mother’s china set since I was a little girl. It was the one object I thought about inheriting when she died. The pattern seemed out of time or perhaps ahead of its time. I had never seen anything like it before. Most china patterns I was familiar with had petite, pastel-colored flowers of pinks, yellows, and blues. Mom’s pattern was a single, delicate black rose bud with its prickly green stem that hugged the curve of the pewter-trimmed, alabaster plate.”
I voiced my interest in my mom’s china, and it was generously given to me by my sisters.
I brought my mom’s china home, unpacked it, and held it to my chest, wrapped my arms around it and looked up towards the ceiling and thanked my mom. It is proudly displayed in my china cabinet next to my mothers-in-law’s china. Two very different women, two very different tastes, but both hold important memories of special meals prepared and shared by the two moms in my life.
I am keeping these things temporarily, hoping they might hold sentimental value for my kids or my grandkids someday to box up and hold onto temporarily for generations to come.
Because it is all temporary.
Be well dear friends.
Micki, DDBR, xo