Apr 242013
My Grandpa chest of memories

My Grandpa’s WWI chest–a treasure chest of memories.

If you want to get technical, my brain is a treasure chest of memories. Since I’ve had a MRI, I guess theoretically, I could scan and embed a picture of it. However, as the radiologist’s report spelled out that my brain was “unremarkable,” I’ll spare us all the embarrassment.

Luckily, I have my maternal grandma’s “Treasure Chest of Memories,” a collection of her memories. But that’s not all I have.

My Grandpa’s Chest of Memories

I also have chest that my paternal grandpa had in during WWI. For decades, my Grandma Wilkinson,  then my mother, stored memorabilia in it. It went largely ignored during the last fifty or sixty years. Only after my grandmother’s story of being an orphan was debunked a few years ago, did I start exploring it in earnest. (See My Story.)

Grandma's brother found in this chest of memories

The uncle my father never knew

In this chest were WWI portraits of two of my grandmother’s brothers. Those photos alone are treasures. While they don’t explain what made her sever and deny her connections to her family, they do stand as testament that her brothers weren’t the cause of it.

The box also contains photos, letters, Christmas cards, scrapbooks, articles, and mementos. Looking through it, I now know my dad first donated blood in 1952. Letters between my mother and her siblings reveal their loving relationships. I also found this home-made valentine my mom made for my dad. It also contains things that twist at my heart: funeral programs, obituaries, and wills. Seeing that my parents saved every letter I wrote from overseas makes me feel guilty that I didn’t take the time to write more.

The items are material things.  But they are also far more.  They are memories made tangible—Pieces of the past that I can touch. Blood donor card

Do you have a chest of memories in your house? A collection of shoe boxes? Explore it! Add Comment Icon


Do You Have Other Ideas or Comments? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Click on the “comments” icon in the top right corner of this post. For a “Treasure Chest” example read “Love Notes.

  2 Responses to “An Actual Chest of Memories: Is there one at your house?”

  1. […] When we look through storage boxes, some of most precious jewels we’ll find are letters. (See An actual Treasure Chest of Memories.)  These letters from the past reveal a lot more than penmanship. They give a glimpse of […]

  2. […] come rushing back to the surface. (See “6 Fun Ways to Trigger Summer Memories”  and “An Actual Treasure Chest of Memories” for other ways to spark […]

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