Scribbling Mum about her most cherished possession. She created the scenario that if your house was on fire what would you save or make you want to run back inside for. I do a similar exercise in training when I ask delegates to imagine how they would spend their time if they have a short time to live and what they would be saddest to lose. I am usually asked if this can be a person or people and I always reply that I hope for their sake that it is! Of course the things in life we most treasure are not things at all but our loved ones. Its sad that we spend most of our life chasing possessions when they are not the most important things in life after all!
Scribbling Mum decided that her wall of photographs were her most treasured item (after her family) and she had a whole wall of special photogrphs that she would grab. In a way I was forced to make this decision about treasures when we left England. I gave, sold and abandoned most of my possessions and all that I packed into a tea chest for shipping were photographs, some small special mementos of my family and the childens' very favourite toys.
Among those special family treasure were my mother's Bible which was awarded to her on her confirmation. When she passed away she didn't leave much physical evidence that she had passed this way at all - her family are her living memorial. But of her possessions, I chose to ask for her Bible and when I looked inside it I found a photograph of me with both my parents - I think the only one that was ever taken of the three of us together - so I knew it was meant for me. I also packed a plate that she liked to serve cakes on - it was an unusual shape and size - elegantly white trimmed with gold and it looked very posh. I was sad when it broke but I survived!
I brought my father's box camera for no other reason that I thought it was an antique and I like the idea that he had looked through the lens and captured his own memories on his travels in the RAF. A small pearlised china horse that my grandmother had rescued from some one's dustbin was also tucked away - seriously she couldn't understand why someone would throw such a beautiful object away and it reminds me that someones trash may be another persons treasure!
I have also kept the little white outfit that my boys were christened in.It reminds me of how small, helpless and innocent they were when they came into the world and how proud I am of that they have grown up tall, strong and capable. I still have it after thirty seven years and was touched when my grandson Craig was christened in it. I had quite a stash of thier artwork, stories and homemade cards and I was forced to choose one of each - I still have those and they include the story that Mark wrote about his mum being 'a big blonde'!
I have experienced the cruellest loss of all - that of a child - but I have survived.
In the last couple of years we have been burgled twice and I have had my purse stolen and I survived those losses too. I did regret the loss of my photographs stored on the computer - thankfully many of them were backed up on disc - but the rest are gone but not the memories that they captured.
So I guess that the thing that I would be saddest to lose after my loved ones, would be my memory. I would miss my photographs but its not the photograph that counts but the memory that lay behind it that is most precious - and a fire could not extinguish that. Treasuring moments - really savouring them cements them on the mind so living without a memory must be like living without a history, without a sense of how you became who you are. That to me would be unthinkable!