Legacies

The Pile in the Corner

I’ve written previously about how the Broken Windows Theory applies to organizing. In a nutshell, if you have a little bit of a mess, it’s easy for it to become a big mess because your standards are already lowered. Almost three years ago, I started a pile in the corner of my bedroom. Specifically, I placed a box of files there. The contents of the box were my father’s papers. We had just placed him in assisted living, and I was no…

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Sharing Priceless Family Photos

After my father passed away earlier this year, I took possession of his priceless family photo albums. These were photos that he had obtained over the years from his parents. Some of them showed his parents when they were teenagers back in Hungary in the early part of the 20th century. Others were of him and his brothers during their youth in Brooklyn. Some included their young wives, including my mother. I knew that these photos were special and needed to be…

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My Parents’ Legacy

After my father passed away at the end of January, my sister and I took two months to clear out our family apartment (as I described in Home is Where the Heart Is). Although most of our parents’ possessions were sold, donated, or discarded, I brought home a bag of things that I just didn’t feel right about throwing away. These things were not valuable or even of great sentimental value. They were simply items that my parents had held on to for many…

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Home Is Where The Heart Is

Today, my sister and I finished clearing out our family home of nearly 40 years.  It wasn’t the home we grew up in — we moved out of that apartment three weeks before I graduated high school.  But it was where we introduced our parents to the men who would become their sons-in law; where we brought our children to play with their cousins; where we mourned our mother three years ago and helped my father reestablish his new life, which ended two…

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All That Glitters

As I have written before, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure (see my earlier post of that name).  But what happens when you inherit another man’s treasure?   If something was important to someone you loved, does it become important to you? When my mother passed away two years ago, she left behind her beloved silver-plated flatware.  Like many women of her generation, my mother believed in pulling out her fine china, tablecloths, and silver-plated flatware whenever we had company.  After everyone went home, my…

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