19 May 2010

journeys in, & with a tin


before i went to oregon, i asked them to wait on going through my mother's things. i wanted to help sort through it all, touch what was hers, find my way in this new version of my life. i also wanted to make sure that i brought back the things i most wanted.

once there, however, i was extremely overwhelmed. not only by the emotion tangled with the task i'd set for myself, but by the sheer volume of things. my mother wasn't technically a hoarder, but she sure did have a lot. what's more, lot consisted of things i love: books, antiques, sewing & craft supplies.

at first i followed my brother around, looking through the things he'd set aside, or wanted to show me. soon though i wandered, on my own, into my mother's studio. i just stood there, staring at everything, thinking wow. how was i going to do this? how in the hell was i going to go through her things, choose what i wanted, then walk away from it all? from her? forever?

silent tears poured down my face, as i faced the over-stuffed sewing room. just as i was about to fall to pieces, i saw it. the tin. the one you see in the photo up there. her tin. i cannot recall a time in my life where that wasn't in her studio, filled with all sorts of interesting bits & bobs. i saw it & the world around me melted into silence; the kind you see in movies. i knew in that moment that i had to have the tin. i also knew i could do this.

in the days that followed we sorted through their home. my father, brother, sister-in-law & i went through my mother's belongings, looked at old photos, shared memories, laughed, & cried. it was harder than i could have ever imagined, but we did it. we began the long journey of saying good-bye.

in the end i chose to limit what i took for my own: some jewelry, photos, books, odds & ends, & that tin.

that's a photo of the tin's interior. my mother & i were very different people; quite often we did not get along because of this. what you see in that tin is a bit of what did connect us - the things that make a person swoon. in my family, i am now alone. there is nobody left who loves the things i love. who understands the pull of old things, the passion for creating, nor the driving need to write it all down.

in the days leading up to my mother's passing, i imagined all the things that would change. what i didn't realize was that everything changes. how i see things, what i think, who i am in the world! all of it changed the moment she took her last breath.

funny, isn't it? how much can be found
in a battered, old tin?



The Sitting Tree said...

I'm envisioning a new life emerging from the contents of your beautiful tin~ Lucky to be the recipient of all that love.

busterandboo said...

Such a beautiful old tin. This post brought me back to 1983, and the days following my mother's passing. My brother and I went through her house, and I kept few things. At the time I was living in an apartment, and was still young. I often yearn for things we sold or gave away. and you're right - you become a new person.
With hugs to you on this journey.

Naturalearthfarm said...

Blessings on your new journey - such a beautifully written post.
Warm wishes, Tonya

Spryte said...


EvesLittleEarthlings said...

Those tin contents look like what I would find at my mom's house. And more and more I find items like that in my own stash!
In many respects, we carry our mothers within us and that essence is revealed more and more as the years pass.

Anonymous said...

i may not appreciate the things that connected you to your mother - but i and we as a family are here for you and can learn to love those things.
It is a beautiful expression and window into the wife i know and who you are.

kat said...

thank you friends, for such lovely words of support & comfort.

manlyman? why are you posting anonymously? silly man. i love you too.

Anonymous said...

Deep, touching and sad. :( Hugs

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