My mom passed away just over six years ago, and at the time, we went through her personal effects, but we never dealt with were the years, and years (and years) of accumulated things that were in the house. This week, we all went home to go through the house and divide up the pictures and everything else.
What we found as we were going through the house was almost overwhelming.Some of what we went through was not unexpected - there were the quilts and blankets that Mom had accumulated over the years, the pictures from her childhood and our childhoods that we needed to sort and divide up, the various memorabilia from us growing up that we each simply needed to take with us. The memories that came back as we tackled the "expected" were amazing.
It was Mom and Dad's "spare room" (or as my sisters call it - borrowing a line from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - The land of Spare Oom) that provided the "wow" factor for the week. The room contained not only things that Mom and Dad had kept from their lives, but also a large amount of things that had come from my grandmother's house when she passed away. As you can imagine, the room proved to be a treasure trove of not just memories, but genealogical finds as well!
Among the things that we found were a log from my grandfather's days as an engineer on the Pennsylvania Railroad which my younger brother is going transcribe and "decrypt." (You can expect a follow-up post on that item since we believe he may have been the engineer on some significant trains!) We also found a 160 year old bible that belonged to my great great grandmother as well as her hymnal, diplomas from my grandmothers college and high school, my mother's college diploma, grade cards, awards, address books, newspaper clippings, letters, cards, and the list goes on and on.
Needless to say, I am sitting here at home now having just unloaded my car and I am looking at everything that came home with me as well as everything that I scanned because it went home with my brother and sisters, and to be honest I am feeling just a bit overwhelmed in a great way. I have to sort all of this and then start the process of seeing what just gets preserved and stored for the memories, what will be used for genealogical information before being preserved and stored, and what gets put out and displayed in the house (or used in my house). As hard as the task was last week, the one ahead of me is not harder, but almost more challenging.
Over the next several weeks (and probably months), I will have many, many posts here letting my readers know what my finds are and what exciting memories and new finds I come across. I already know that from a genealogical standpoint, the new information, proof and leads that I am going to find will be amazingly rewarding.
What I'm looking forward to the most, though, is sharing with you some of the memories that all of this brings back because I think that has been the most overwhelming part of the week is the memories that were long forgotten which are now stirred up and swirling through my head.
Sometimes going home is fun; sometimes it is emotional; sometimes it is heart-breaking; but most of all, going home is always going where the family comes together and the memories come pouring out and flood my head.