LETTER: I refuse to clear out my keepsakes and memories
"Sod modern convention, I'm keeping my memories," writes Tony Levy.
Liz Hodgkinson's is rightly appalled at the idea of clearing out her life's collection of memories and adventures, simply to facilitate her family's responsibility of disposing of her worldly collection long before she dies. I and I suspect others of my generation feel the same. Slowly seeing your life's work, treasured memories and loving collected mementoes of family and working life, end up in charity shops or skips, is not something I would consider or relish.
My wife and I still have, I hope at least another 20 years before we both ascend to that great parade ground in the sky. Meanwhile I will continue to add to my ever expanding library, of which I glean great pleasure, and Mrs Levy will still receive with great thanks, the glass and china she has collected for over four decades. The house is full to overflowing!
My military collection of times past, expands slowly, from car boots and gifts that our six offspring bring back from foreign shores, and my trips around Albion when working away from home. All these things together constitute a lifetime of happy adventures, with family, friends and army muckers, something I will never part with. As for clearing, disposing of my life just to for fill some sort of social convention, NO, its not going to happen.
My two lads will have the sad task of slowly going through my long collected, and some issued item of my modest military career. As they look into the two photo albums of pictures of my past, they will see items that they can now hold, knowing that their father used and held them some 60 years before, along with their grand fathers and great grand fathers military stuff, a link back over a 100 years. All my power and, hand tools, and workshop will take some shifting, that's the lads job.
Our four girls will have the task of going through their mother's collection, with the same sad recollections of happy times past. Our six offspring, and eight grandchildren (so far) will all be able to see into the family's history going back to 1876, encapsulated in a family photo taken in 1950 in the east end.
If my wife and I had heeded the somewhat skewered advice to " Downsize" our collected life's collection of memories and dispose of books, china, glass, albums and drawers of collected family holiday memories, how will succeeding generations of family know how their ancestors lived, worked and played? Our big sprawling family home is just that, a home brim full of happy joyful up-lifting framed pictures, photos, and shelves of books, walls that show collected items from years past, places visited, my army years, and music, that the family recognise, remember, and enjoy.
"Dad, we had a girls night out up town on Saturday, and guess what, they played our motorway music, we all got up and sang and danced. You should have seen their faces, we were the only ones who knew the words." 32 years ago we had an eight seated motor, (Toyota space cruiser A897 UGC) and I always had cassette tapes on board. The children's favourite one was 'ELO, Out of the Blue'.
Recalled childhood memories are defined by collected items adventures, and travels, that embed themselves deep into the subconscious, to be retrieved when tearfully looking through the bereaved life time's collected mementoes, and much loved and cherished photographs.
I will not dispose, throw out, burn, sell, give away anything, nothing, not one item. It's all for the next two generations to sift through and learn of their family history, achievements, failures, and hopefully learn that family is everything. Anything else is secondary.
Sod perceived modern convention, it ain't gonna happen any time soon.
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