Most of the stuff that I inherited from my mother had been functional for her life but basically went from her basement to our attic and closets. In the years before The Stuff Cure, I hung on to some of her things because they reminded me of her. Well, I did pass on the treadle sewing machine. But with her dishes, silver, crystal, jewelry, mink stole, and many boxes of her stuff, I couldn’t resist. I felt that bringing these sentimental items into our house would guarantee that I never forgot my Mother. Once they were in the closet or cabinets—and in some cases on a display shelf—I found it hard to let go of these things that she had prized.
In the years after The Stuff Cure, however, finding a better home for my Mother’s things actually helped me remember her more than keeping her possessions gathering dust or tucked away. And donating most of these items to charities helped me in transforming her past life into a positive legacy for the future.
But there’s one thing I won’t get rid of. I cherish this picture of my Mother because, when I look at her, I see my Mother the way she would like to be remembered—as young and vital. So this picture of Mom as a teenager is enough to keep in touch with my gratitude for her love and for her gift to me of life.