By Natalie Weinstein, Allied ASID
Each time I help a client relocate, whether it’s up-sizing or downsizing, it represents another chapter ending. This past Thanksgiving, a chapter ended for me with the sale of my family’s home in Florida. Spending the holidays there with my children and grandchildren was truly bittersweet. The house was bare with boxes galore and the memories of past celebrations and departed loved ones surrounded us as we gathered for the last time in a place which meant so much to all of us – each in a different way. As young marrieds, Bernie and I enjoyed the best times (and the best food) with our wonderful family. Little did we know then that Bernie would spend his final years there treated by an amazing doctor. Our sons spent their childhood and adulthood returning to this happy place from wherever life took them, and later the grandchildren grew up knowing and visiting great grandparents there. So many memories – happy and sad.
I am the last of my generation and like it or not, the caretaker of the past – and as most matriarchs, want to give my kids and theirs “things” – as well as memories. They, like most “kids” of their generation, want nothing. Sound familiar? I know how familiar, because Uniquely Natalie, our consignment shop is filled with beautiful and treasured possessions from parents and grandparents that families don’t need or want.
Now it’s my turn to decide. While I understand that what has meaning and value to me, may not have for them, now, I choose to be a hold-out and hope that someday they may change their minds. So - with the things going back to New York (obviously none to California or Singapore), there will not only be boxes of important family papers and photos, but my mom’s antique table clock, Aunt Sylvia’s grandfather clock and the first table Bernie made in his factory. I will find a special place for these in my home and hope that when my time comes and they have to make the same decisions, they will understand.
To my dear readers, please do not think this is a license to keep all of everyone’s “stuff”, but rather my “throw out, give away and treasure the few” philosophy. Other reminders are more important than any one item. They are the memories in our photos, our stories and in our hearts. So for all of the holiday season, make your home a happy one for family and loved ones, and make your memories the lasting kind for your future generations to share.