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Emotional Attachments

July 21, 2008

My husband and I are in the process of remodeling our home. We are in to month ten and becoming quite cranky. If we’re lucky, our house may be back together by the holidays.

You may ask why I am sharing this with you. Remodeling, usually involves “editing" the possessions we’ve accumulated along the way, and I’ve found with that process comes some surprises.

Many years ago my mother gave me her old Universal Sewing machine. My grandmother gave it to her over 60 years ago. I’ve used it to make stuffed animals for the children I babysat for in high school, my first, and last, blouse and a set of balloon drapes for the kitchen of the first home my husband and I bought.

Our remodel project has displaced this ancient sewing machine, which still works like a charm, by the way and prompted a conversation as well as a reaction that took me totally by surprise. As my husband and I were trying to decide where the sewing machine would now “live’ he asked me if I had an emotional attachment to it. As he asked the question I experienced a wave of memories that brought tears to my eyes. I was taken totally unawares by the reaction. This brought about a long conversation with my mother about my grandmother (who was an amazing seamstress), my mother and her sewing skills, and what occasion resulted in my mother receiving this as a gift from her mother.

This chain of events led me to the subject of emotional attachments: both to memories and things. The floodgates were now open and my trip down memory lane included the portrait Aunt Lil painted, two weeks in New York City with Aunt Lil while my parent’s vacationed in Greece, my first visit to Radio City Music Hall, poetry reading with my father, gold bracelets from Aunt Ann and Aunt Lil, Christmas shopping with dad, grandfather’s cooking knives, ballet slippers framed by my sister-in-law for my 40th birthday, Imari chargers from my mother-in-law, the annual Christmas lunch with mom at the Walnut Room, college father daughter weekends, my nephew kissing a bad burn on my arm to make it feel better before he was old enough to talk, being present for the birth of my niece and nephew, friends singing show tunes at the top of their lungs on New Year’s Eve, a ski weekend in New Hampshire with college friends, the evening my husband proposed, shopping days with my girlfriend Linda, cooking in the kitchen with cousin Pam, memorable dinner parties, a case of champagne finished during a Christmas brunch, the pearls my husband gave me on a mountain in Ravello, Italy. I could go on and on.

I often think with regret of items I told my mother I didn’t want or memories that could have been created if I hadn’t said I was too busy.

So as we speed through the days of our lives, take the time to create memories that will live far longer than the actual event. They truly make a difference and have the power to shape the joy, the heart and the soul of our lives.

Hopefully will play a part in helping you create some of those lasting memories.


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