Grandma’s Small Stuff

A couple of weeks ago I went to KS to help my almost 90 year old Grandma move from full-time independence to complete dependence upon her family. It turns out several months ago she had an un-detected minor heart attack that has now left her happy little heart pumping at only 20%.

We rummaged through old photographs and shared old stories but I couldn’t help but wonder, what has made her keep THESE things all these years? What makes THESE things so special to her? It seemed that each item whispered a little secret that I just had to know.

At times it felt weird divvying up her stuff knowing she’s still with us so I kept telling myself; “This is how Grandma wants it to go down so by golly this is what we are going to do!”

Once I got past the initial “this feels weird” stage I started hoarding like a mad woman! I hoarded so many things that Cale had to tie up an extra luggage rack on our little truck just to get us home! :) I kept feeling like I was going to miss something. Something that meant something to Grandma. Something that she would want SOMEONE to have.

Most of the items I took are small but things that I new I would use and things that will always remind me of my Grandma Mac. Things like our coffee talks over something sweet (even with her diabetes there was always a little room for chocolate!) and a pink cup to remember her pink rose china set (which was used to serve even the simplest of meals).

I don’t know I guess the older I get the less I feel connected with my perfectly white Pottery Barn Dishes and the more I want to be surrounded by things that mean something. Things that have a story. Things that are more than just stuff. It makes me wonder what my stuff would say? Would they tell about the time Cale and I fought over half a brownie? Would they tell about quiet farm sunsets and the day I cried over my first attempt at blackberry cobbler? No. Nobody knows those stories. Nobody else was there to share them except for Cale and I and our stuff. What stories do I not know from Grandma’s stuff? What stories of her staying up late to cook Thanksgiving dinner or to put that final touch on that handmade Halloween Costume am I missing? It’s true history that has been poured over these things. Over Grandma’s stuff.

Grandma wanted us to have our pick at her stuff but everything seemed special. Everything had a story to tell.

There is a design and beauty to this stuff that I long to understand but in my heart of hearts I know the only way to understand it is to have lived a full life. To have cried past the point you never thought was possible and then cry some more. To choose to love and fall in love with your husband again, and again, and again. To laugh until you can’t take it anymore. I want to live a life that cherishes the small stuff. Because someday it wont’ be Grandma’s stuff. It will be my stuff. It will be our stuff. And what will it say about us? Did we take over the world? Did we love deep? Did we live a life that makes our stuff worth anything to anybody? Not in price, but in a sentimental value that cherishes the story behind a simple cup and all it’s hidden secrets.

From the Farm

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About meg:

I like curly lines, and the simple joys of life. Good coffee and the perfect souffle.

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5 Responses to “Grandma’s Small Stuff”
  1. Becky

    Oh Meg, I am so moved by your blog. I am a person given to living a life to create memories with my girls. I too hope that one day my stuff would share the secrets that tell my story. I read your blog through tears. Last year, I brought back an old cooking pot and some serving spoons that were my momma’s, she too had to get rid of her stuff to move in with my sister. I never tire of hearing the stories that she has to share. I am an old soul & I enjoy going back in time even if it’s only by listening to the stories the old “stuff” has to share. Thanks for sharing this!

    • 07.30.2011

      Ohh goodness Becky… I don’t think I could handle rummaging through my mom’s stuff! You are one tough cookie! And then again… you have to do what you to do! We feel so blessed knowing that you were encouraged by this post. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anne

    Hey Cuz~ I couldn’t have said it better myself. I think for me, my “hoarding” of grandmas stuff was very similar to yours. I want to surround myself with “her” and almost superstitious about it. If I have her stuff then she will always protect and look over me. She has always been my “voice of reason” and had the best advice no matter what she said. Everything seemed better when it came from grandma, plus she always took away the “sting” of the situation with a cookie or a double crumble bar. We have been so blessed to have her in our lives and even though she just calls her possessions “stuff”, they are truly treasures we ALL will cherish for a lifetime. Love you Meg!

    • 07.31.2011

      Ohh man, those double crumble bars will get ya every time! Love you too. Had a great time getting in some late night laughs with you and the rest of the girls!

  1. [...] a while back when I went through Grandma’s stuff? We’ll, I’ve been stashing a few item... bringingdesignhome.com/2011/08/24/vintage-illustrations-from-grandmas-stuff-part-1

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