Thursday, 10 November 2016


 Just Can’t Throw It Away
We all have things we can't part with.  Sometimes it makes sense that we would keep something and other times it makes no sense at all.  We cling to things that have no monetary value, that take up valuable space, things that, when we have passed away, will no doubt be thrown in the trash.  I came across one such item today when I was mucking about in the basement.
When our daughter was in grade school, probably grade three or four, she was given the assignment of making a family tree.  We got a big piece of Bristol board and I drew a tree on it with long roots.  She stencilled her title on the page.  The grandparents were invited over and she explained what her assignment was to them.   Then the magic happened.  We all wrote our names in the appropriate places.  Our daughters name was high in the tree with ourselves as the two main branches from the trunk.  The grandparents were the roots just entering the ground.  Then the grandparents entered their parents names and the names of all the direct ancestors they could remember.  The grandparents told our daughter stories of their parents and their siblings.  We were all there, all together, united in a single purpose.  We took the piece of Bristol board and had it laminated so that it wouldn't get ruined taking it to school.
Now her family tree is in our basement leaning up against a wall behind some picture frames.  I can't throw it out.  I have complicated charts and books full of family names and stories and paperwork but I can't throw out this battered artifact with the handwritten names created with love for a child and grandchild.

  Does that make me a hoarder....or hopelessly sentimental?


  1. Sentiment has its place. It needs to. I don't think I could throw that tree out either.
    My partner keeps the socks he took to boarding school (his mother sewed his name and class into them). He hated boarding school. The socks don't fit. I classify that as hoarding.

  2. I couldn't throw it out either. I think perhaps you should gift it to the child who made it, to show her own children something she did way back in grade school.

  3. How could you even THINK about throwing that away? That's not hoarding. Hoarding is saving tin foil and Popsicle sticks. Saving memories is perfectly OK.

  4. Definitely don't throw it out! In fact, find a way to preserve it as best as you can. My mom saved all my report cards and I still have them--it's so nice to have that souvenir from my childhood.

  5. Keep that treasure!! While you many know the stories and people, your descendants won't unless they look and ask questions. Get the board out at the next family gathering and tell those stories. Connect those characters and their personalities with theirs. What an awesome amazing assignment!

  6. Oh it is sooooo hard...but in this case, I'm glad you didn't throw it away!...:)JP

  7. I understand. It's full of precious memories. Maybe put it in a place of honor...

  8. Never, ever get rid of something as precious as that family memory. I could hear and feel the love you had in remembering that time with your loved ones.

  9. Definitely do not throw it out, it sounds extra special to me.

    All the best Jan


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