Breland: Sweet memories when remembering the past

Published 10:41 am Friday, July 15, 2022

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Looking at my grandmother’s coffee table, I thought of all the stories it could tell me if it could talk. I don’t know how or when she obtained this little table, but it sat in her home for all the years I can remember. It also was in my mother’s living room for many years after Granny had gone to Heaven. Now I have it.

How many people would have used it the past? How many stories told? Interesting to contemplate! It doesn’t match the furniture it in my living area, so it is in another room holding precious little things I keep. I think about my grandmother and my mother each time I am there.

Following a recent birthday, I started thinking about the “things” I have collected during the past 84 years. I know I have more years behind me than in the future, so what do I do with this stuff … much of it so dear to me.

I have tried to let my children know the most important, but where do I start to disperse these things? I have seen family treasures in yard sales and flea markets, where families have obviously given them up.

There’s a very used table, which was in our living room as I grew up. It held the big radio we listened to every night. When I dust the table, I picture listening to “The Shadow” as we children feared the ghostly story, sending us to bed scared. Will it just be an old beat-up table to those who are left?

I have a maple chest of drawers and the second drawer from the bottom was mine to hold my childhood folding clothes. My older brother had the one above me and my little sister the bottom one. When Mom died, I was the only one who wanted it. It could use some repair and care but the memories are numerous.

There are many spots holding my collections, but I assume as we age we all collect things that mean much to us. Should we be concerned about these treasures … or should they just be left without worry to the wants and needs of our heirs?

In this day and age, things that are so important to us may be of no use to some who have adapted a much more casual lifestyle. What do they do with the fancy things used in a more luxurious time? Not everybody is like that and I suppose they will find good china, crystal and fine table linens in the flea markets at a bargain.

I am starting to clean out closets of things packed away for ages. It seems anything that doesn’t go anywhere else may wind up in a closet, but time comes for cleaning.

What to do with still beautiful clothes that are out of style? Put them in a pile of good things to give away. If nobody wants them, what then? Do you just take them to the dump with the rest of the garbage?

I really hate to throw away anything that is still good and useable. I also hate the thought of leaving my house filled with “things” for my children to clean out.

This time of life is a happy one for me. I am blessed to be content as I enjoy and share. I have old family pictures of ancestors, genealogy on both sides of the family and a good many of my paintings. However, what is left is more than actual objects. Leaving a life of faith in God and His provision is most important.

I try to share all with the family. Some interested, some not. Maybe someday they will remember something and recall, “Mother said …” and it will be shared. My siblings and I do that for our parents. It brings about such sweet memories.

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at