My son and daughter's primary school news jotters. I still haven't stopped laughing at the items of news.
My daughter's entry for one day in nineteen ninety three,"The queen will be getting married soon" maybe she knew something I didn't.
There is one with a drawing of me which is titled ,"My mum is..." and is followed by a list which include, short tempered, hates small furry animals, grumpy, kind , loves buying gifts, shouts a lot and finishes with,"I love my mum."
I am them surprised by what lovely writing my son had when he was very young. How did I forget that?
How do I define what goes into the bin and what stays, I can't keep everything.
School writings and drawings are put in the "to be kept box." The children will want them one day.
I didn't realise when I started this that I would be going down memory lane into the past. I am reliving sad as well as happy memories. I came across a letter sent to me by the mother of a young friend, Lesley who had Cystic Fibrosis. I became friends with her in hospital, she was kind and funny and very very brave.
My children were four and seven then and all this girl wanted was to be married and have a family like me. This sadly did not happen although she did achieve her dream wedding and I was there to share it with her. She passed away a few weeks after a double lung transplant from an infection her new lungs just couldn't fight off. I'm reading her mum's letter and with it she had enclosed poems written by Lesley and I just can't stop the tears from falling. Lesley believed in God and a heaven so I hope she knows I think of her often.
More letters and photos this time from two pen pals in New Zealand , they too lost their lives to Cystic Fibrosis and I read through all their letters and look once again at their photos.
I place them all in the "to be kept" box, it somehow feels disrespectful to dispose of them.
On a happier note next is a big black bag full of my daughter's soft toys at last something to smile about. Every Christmas I always placed a small doll peeking out from the top of her Christmas stocking and as I hold each one, all still brand new, not aged by time. I think of the joy on her face when she saw them for the first time.
I hope my granddaughter will have fun when I give her the dolls that belonged to her auntie.
I place them in the pile "to be kept" they're too good to dispose off.
Now for the books .I am hoping to buy a bookcase so all the hardbacks are definitely staying. I have found lots of book I want to read again if I ever have the time. I think I have every diet and exercise book ever written, indeed if I took their advice I would be very slim and very fit, but you just know by how perfect the books are that only the first few pages have ever been read and I'm still looking for the perfect diet book,one that tells me chocolate and wine in copious amounts will help me loose weight.
When my children left home they left me with all the stuff they might need one day but didn't know when that day might be. Three crashe helments, leather biking suit, golf clubs,books,cds, videos, boxes of uni books.
My husband tells me to inform them both that they either come and get what they want or it all goes to the dump. I am far too soft for that and it all goes in the pile ,"to be kept."
When I was a little girl I loved plundering in my auntie's big cupboard. She was a Sunday School teacher and a Girls Brigade leader and her cupboard was full of all kinds of interesting things. Arts and crafts materials, children's books, boxes of pens and pencils, colouring sheets. I would spend hours in there looking for goodies and at the end of the day going home with a bag full of
Back to my sorting out, you see, I'm easily distracted. The next boxes are from my Mother-in-law's house, she passed away in January and I had to empty her house. It is very difficult sorting through someone else's possessions and I had been through the same thing a few years ago with my own mum. How can you dispose of things which don't belong to you? The items in the boxes were cards and photos that I didn't know what to do with. She had kept every birthday card she had been given by my children and us and I just cannot part with anything that a child has painstakingly scrawled their name on no matter how many years ago it was. I have kept these cards and disposed of the rest. There are wedding photographs of people neither my husband nor I know but they go back into the box as I don't feeel right destroying them, maybe I should harden myself up and not be so sentimental.
Although I have saved quite a lot for the "to be kept" pile there are six black bin bags going to the dump so I don't suppose I have done too bad.
I never thought that clearing out cupboards could be so emotionally draining but I have been through a range of different emotions during this clearout.
We all have photos and cards and special things we cannot part with, I have jewellery which belonged to my mum, aunt, mother-in-law and her mother, that I will probably never wear and I hope I am never in a postion where I have to take them to "Cash For Gold." it will eventually be my daughter who will have to deal with them but by that time they will no doubt be back in fashion.
What do you have that you could never be parted from? I'd love to know.
In memory of Lesley I'm leaving you with one of her poems sent to me by her mum, it has been lying in a drawer for too long.
I've Tried My Best by Lesley Hepburn.
When put to the test, I knew I would,
Try to do the best I could.
To throw my tiresome troubles away,
Push them aside for another day.
In my life I've tried my best,
Tried to keep up with all the rest.
When things go wrong as the often do,
I count my blessings, one and two.
Life has had it's ups and downs,
But I'll struggle on and I'll come round.
For to achieve one's goals in life is tough
You have to keep trying, for it's never enough.