One Family’s Treasure Should Not Be Another Family’s Trash

Pardon me for being irritated…or maybe just saddened… For anyone who’s read my blog for awhile, you know that my younger sister passed away a couple years ago…well, it’ll be 3 years this spring…anyway, my b-i-l has since remarried.  My mom, dad, and I had a good little talk about some stuff on New Year’s Day when I was just hanging out there with them.  What was weird was my dad actually participating in this… he tends to use the "stuff it and ignore it"  approach to things that upset him – which would explain the stomach pains he suffers from – Well, here is the deal, and I haven’t got any good ideas as to what can be done about it.  First of all, my s-o-s-i-l (sort of sister in law) is totally redecorating the house… now, I don’t begrudge her doing this.  It is her home now, and she shouldn’t have to live with someone else’s decorating tastes.  I wouldn’t want to have my home decorated the way my sis did hers; it’s not my style, either.  The problem, for me, is her disregard for the stuff she is removing.  I understand in a way, I mean, she didn’t know my sister, so it means nothing to her, and the stuff is just stuff… but for my family, well, it was my sister’s stuff.  For instance, a very large, expensive framed print that my sis had in her living room – her main piece of art.  I used to work in an art gallery, and our "Christmas Bonus" was being able to choose any print at all that we carried, and have it framed the way we desired.  One Christmas I chose that particular one for my sister, because she had been admiring it.  I remember how thrilled she was to get it, and how she cherished it.  The last time I was over at my b-i-l and s-o-s-i-l’s house, she showed me a few new things she’d bought, then pointed to that picture and said "That thing goes next.  I can’t stand that awful picture."   Geez, okay, so it’s not her style, but it’s not awful… it’s a wildlife print, it’s not like it’s something offensive!   Like I said, I don’t blame the gal for wanting to decorate her home in her way… I guess, maybe she could be a bit more sensitive to the way she says things to the family of the woman whose home she is taking over.  Is that too much to expect?  The other problem is family heirlooms.  You know, when you have something in your family, and you pass it down to a child, you basically assume it will be in your family for…well, forever.  And those things mean something special because they are family heirlooms; not because they are worth a particular amount of money or anything.  So, there are things in that house now that belonged to my great-great grandmother; for instance a table that my great-great grandfather built for her out of a tree that he cut down on their farm… and, we’d really like it back.  To my s-o-s-i-l, it’s just an old table that fits a certain corner of the house, so she’s kept it, so far.    My parents don’t really care that she has it for now, because they feel like they shouldn’t just go "hey, give all our stuff back!" because, my parents are far too kind for that…but, they do worry that she will one day give our family heirlooms to someone else, a friend or family member on her side of the family, when she no longer wants them…then they will be gone from our family forever, and that seems very wrong.  I suppose we ought to talk to her and my b-i-l about this, but the problem there is, she’s hard to understand.  She seems very nice, and understanding, but she has given my mom the ‘silent treatment’ a time or two for little things done that aparently annoyed her, and my mom doesn’t want to do anything that will harm her ability to have a relationship with her grandchildren.  Sigh.  It’s just a screwy situation.  One of those "life sucks" deals.  One reason out of a bajillion that I wish my little sister hadn’t died.  It just hurts.  It’s like something that will never really end;  well, of course not, you never get over the loss of someone you love so much, but I mean, it’s these little reminders that I wish didn’t keep coming up… ‘salt in the wound’ sort of things….I’ll probably be the one who has to bring this up with them…my mom never will, and I can understand that.  I better do a lot of praying, to soften hearts beforehand. 

One response »

  1. Ann, I know how much family heirlooms are treasures of the heart.  I think you have the right idea…. pray about her being receptive to your sharing that there are things in her new home that she may not wish to have but that you would love to keep in the family not only because they are heirlooms but because they are meaningful because they were your sisters. 
    Take care,

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