Once my husband's parents had moved out of their house -- forced by ailment and age to leave and never return -- Dwayne's conversations with them often included a mention of belongings.
Dwayne always wanted the dining room table but his father insisted the sideboard, lovely but large, had to go with it, and we don't have room or need of that sideboard. So Dwayne let that go. Even though his father died last summer, Dwayne still honoured his wish.
I was looking for a curio cabinet and his mother's would have suited but it's still full of seventy years of ... curios... so we bought one ourselves (and it has the rounded glass sides I prefer).
After his brother passed away suddenly, in January, the future of the old farmhouse changed quickly. Funny how plans bandied about as ideas and dreams, as "some day", drop into high gear forward when someone dies. All of a sudden, the plans for a grandson to renovate the farmhouse and move in with his family are taking place now, rather than in a few years. This is happening because Dwayne's sister-in-law is all alone on the property.
So there was a visit to the old house, Dwayne and I, to pick out things we wanted. Dwayne looked at a lot of things and I'd say, "Do you want this?" but ultimately he'd put it down and say, "No, I don't want it."
This befuddled me; I'm all about trinkets and tokens and memorabilia -- for the memories, for the connection. Still, I put his dad's wallet and some notepads with his dad's name on them in my pocket. I have my father's wallet; I felt Dwayne (now the only living son) should keep his own father's wallet, too.
Last fall, we got rid of the couch after we installed a fireplace insert; we couldn't have the couch blocking the fireplace and I didn't want the big picture window blocked either. So I spent the winter trying to figure out what to do and I settled on the idea of a daybed, something we could sleep on but wouldn't block the window. At the time, I suggested bringing over the daybed from his parents' kitchen, but Dwayne quickly nixed that idea.
Until it worked away at him. Until one day he said, "Let's use the daybed from the house."
It's old; it's VINTAGE. And it's shorter and narrower than a modern daybed so thankfully, the original mattress is still in good shape -- they built things to last back then, didn't they? -- so we have the whole ensemble in our house now. My intention all along has been to cover it in blankets and pillows, and I keep adding them.
Every so often, Dwayne lies down on "Dad's couch" and has a nap. Just like his father did in the kitchen of the house Dwayne grew up in. A lifetime ago.
I have his father's wallet. He has his father's daybed. Memories and connections reminding us of who we are and who we came from.