I heard a news clip on the radio one day recently that millenials are saying “no thanks” to the “stuff” their parents leave behind. That the current generations do not want the “treasures” former generations have kept in their homes for years thinking to pass it on to children and grandchildren. This sounds sad to me. My mother passed away a few short years ago. Yes, it took all summer to go through the house and clean and sort and get things to a point where my siblings and I, the grandchildren, and some close friends could claim various keepsakes. Yes, there were some things that were donated to Goodwill and some that just went to the trash, but we all claimed memories we wanted to keep. It was a big job, but I felt close to my mom and relived a lot of great times and shed many healing tears and even shared some laughter during that time. I can’t fathom that it could be “too much trouble.”
A small sewing cabinet, re-purposed to hold other odds and ends, now resides in my daughter’s apartment. It was the first piece of furniture my mom got as a new bride. My son has some of the coins his grandpa collected. My older daughter wanted the snowman-themed Christmas decorations. One niece has a mirror hanging above a bookcase in her home that spent years in mom’s family room. Another niece uses the Corelle dishes that we ate on at every family get-together. The family room couch and chair resides in another niece’s apartment. A nephew has the framed antique postcard his great-grandfather sent to his sweetheart, who became great-grandmother- they were the parents of 11. That postcard is a sweet little piece of family history. Another niece claimed an anniversary card her grandpa sent to grandma one year.The girls all have some piece of jewelry. All the grandchildren have some Christmas decorations that were all around the house during the holidays of their childhoods.
My daughter and son, nieces and nephew are all millenials. They had a little space for grandma and grandpa’s things. I am glad. It makes me happy that some of these things will continue to be passed down to new generations. More important, though, is the family stories, values, and traditions that will live on. The things kept probably will get fewer and fewer with each generation. I just hope each succeeding generation will hold on to something of their past.