My mother passed away in March, after a severe bout of pneumonia. While I was in Vancouver this past week, I picked up a couple boxes from my stepfather of things that she wished me to have. Some of it smells so horribly of cigarette smoke, that it is impossible to keep in a house with a husband who has asthma (she and stepfather were heavy smokers). I hate having to get rid of stuff that is hers, but we are very sensitive to the smell of smoke, and unfortunately her stuff is infused with it. I wish there were easy ways to get smoke smell out of things -- especially things that cannot be washed, like photos, papers, books, etc.
Among the items were my childhood report cards and various certificates of achievement, and several photo albums. Most were albums I had taken myself as a preteen or teenager, so rightfully mine. One had baby pics I had never seen, so that was wonderful. One has wonderful pics of my mother's early childhood. Only issue is not one of the photos has anything identified in it, or written around it in the album. So I have no idea who some of the other people are (I can guess that some of them are my aunts/uncles, but they could also be her cousins; the adults I assume are her parents, but the family resemblance is so close with everyone, they could be aunts/uncles/other relatives). I do have aunts I can show it to, but they are the type who may try to take the album, saying it should be theirs, so I hesitate to even let them know I have it.
There was also all of her jewellery, including her wedding ring. It is nothing fancy. They were on welfare most of their marriage, or working minimally paying jobs, so could not afford gemstones, and she is allergic to a lot of metals. It is just a plain hammered silver band. But it is nice to have a memento of her I can wear daily. There are lots of pretty earrings and pendants, but with twin toddlers in the house, I find those are not the best items to wear at the current time, as the boys just pull at them constantly. It is nice to have a bit of jewellery again. Mine was either stolen or I have forgot that super safe place I put it. But I have not seen most of my stuff for probably a year.
I realised looking at the photos that 1) my daughter Ashli looks incredibly like my mother did when Mom was in her early 30s (Ashli is 24 now). 2) Ashli's twins look just like my brother.