Keep in my Heart - Not in my Bathroom

Dear Daughter: Mom, why is the hamper in the hallway? 

Me: Because I'm getting rid of it. We haven't truly used it as more than a shelf for years.

DD: But wasn't great-grandma's? 

Me: Yes, but I'm pretty sure she's okay with not being remember with a hamper. 

I've had it longer than I can remember. Even before my teenage years it was in my room. As I got older I treated it a bit like a hope chest, putting treasured items in it to someday take to a place of my own.

Photo courtesy:C Diane Zweig and Kelley Street /Vintage
The outside is minty green metal with air holes punched into the rim of it.The matching vinyl cover tops looks good, but when open shows the years of wear and tear. It was never meant to be an heirloom, just a normal household, utilitarian object, but for me it was a precious reminder of the grandmother that died before I was born. That normal, everyday object was a tenuous connection to a woman I had never set eyes on, yet held deep in my heart.

I turned 52 this year. Strange that this should be such a turning point, but for me it was a big one. You see, Nana died at 53. As a child, 53 had seemed so old and now I find myself in almost the same place and I realize that there is so much more life to live. Something, she didn't get. My mother also. She made it to 62. God, I remember when we lost her and can't believe that I am just ten years away from where she was then.

The kids are grown now. Both are looking to the future with an eye for their own places. I've promised a few pieces such as the chaise as an incentive to get them to move. It hasn't done much. Husband and I talk almost daily about our dream of having a camper and travelling. Living the dream. He's still got a few years to retirement and I keep working on ways I could work from the road. The writing is a big part of it.

So, with idea that we will eventually downsize comes the need to purge the things in the house that is filled from years of daily living. There is so much that it will take those few extra years. Today, I was cleaning the bathroom and realized how the hamper had gone forgotten in the corner and I knew it was time.

"It's just things", were some of my mother's words in the months before she passed. Just objects that we hold onto and attach our own value to them. Even silly hampers. I can remember my mom without the extra objects, and more often than not it's the stories that mean the most.

So the hamper will go today. Not sure what it will be tomorrow. All I know is that it's okay because I still have the stories.


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