Many cultures use circles as symbols of the cycle of life, of the seasons, and of unity.
As we clean Mom's house, I have discovered another kind of circle/cycle. I am discovering information hidden in boxes and bags that reveal aspects of Mom's life experiences that she hadn't shared before her passing. Each of those items has a life of its own, and the determination must be made to keep it for another generation or allow it to pass gently into the silence of the past. Many objects were actually my grandmother's, obviously kept by her, then uncovered by *my* mother as she dealt with her mother's estate. They were evaluated and saved and hidden again. I am the third generation to make these decisions!
There are items that will, of course, be kept.
My grandfather's letters from France to his mother during WW I. He was very grateful for the socks.
Our parents' wedding rings, hand made by each for the other. Kathy has Daddy's; I have Mom's.
There's a desk that I remember from my grandmother's house, but I suspect it dates farther back than that because the papers in it go back into the mid 1800's.
Old and yellowed crocheted placemats are responding well to Oxy-clean and will grace a dining table again.
There are other things that are more difficult. Mom had let us know that there was conflict between her parents and my father. Mom was raised by her parents NOT to marry. She was supposed to take over the family business and take care of her parents. She met and married my father when she was in her 30's, and my grandparents didn't take it well. Mom never revealed details, but now a letter gives testimony. My mother wrote it while still on her honeymoon, pledging her undying love and devotion to her parents, but never mentioning her new husband. The groveling woman in the letter is not the strong woman I knew. The decision about whether to keep this item has not been made yet.