Have you ever had a moment where you've been rummaging through an old shoebox in your closet that you haven't seen in years, and discovered hidden treasures?I've had that moment a couple of times over my life and it's always an incredibly warm and nostalgic feeling that is hard to shake.
Recently, my mum and I have been cleaning out cupboards and closets that have just been crammed with stuff - a lot of it is junk and needs to be thrown out, but every now and then we find something special. I pulled out a plastic tub that was on the floor in the hallway cupboard and quickly discovered that it was a box filled to the brim with ephemera that belonged to my dad. It mostly contained cards, letters and documents from around the time he died, but there were also some unique keepsakes.
Here are some of my favourite discoveries...
Dad's Memory BoxI'm a big believer in memory keeping and for years I didn't know that we still had so many of dad's things. Finding something as special and valuable as his memory box nearly brought me to tears. I don't know why a lot of the stuff is there and I never will, all I know is that it meant enough to him to keep in the box.
Finding things like this is such a gift. It's as if I get more of my dad revealed to me as I get emotionally and mentally stronger over the years. When I was younger I felt such grief and loss, as it was like he just vanished and I was left there trying to hold on to whatever I could. Now, I feel like I had nothing for all of those years just so I could discover and have more to hold now.
Box contents: pocket knives, pieces of watches, medallions, cuff links, patches, a pen, jewellery, keys, patches, snooker cue chalk, and two used stamps. I can't help but wonder why those two specific stamps are there as he was an avid stamp collector and had numerous stamp albums. They must have been really sentimental, or a particular favourite of his.
This is why memory keeping is special - because each one of those things represented something to my dad, but I'll never know what they are. All I have are the remnants of what was special to him, without the reason why. As humans we go through life alone and it's a beautiful thing to keep mementos for yourself.
35mm Film CameraI don't know who this camera belongs to; it could be my dad's, grandmother's, grandfather's... I really have no idea which makes it even more special. There's one little problem which is that the shutter is stuck. I'm going to take it to a camera shop and see if it can be restored to working condition as I'd love to capture memories on the same camera that they did. I checked to see if there was any film in the camera but unfortunately there was none when I found it.
Click here to see some family photos from back in the day.
Super 8 Film FootageThis was one of the most exciting things that I found because I've had a fascination with Super8 footage for a long time. I unwound it and could see bits and pieces - it is colour film and had a lot of my dad's family members on it. My best guess would be that the footage is from the 70s. I'm desperate to get it scanned onto dvd so I can view it properly as there were some frames with up to 8 people on there! I'd love to be able to have a Super 8 camera and shoot footage with it all the time but the truth is that I just can't justify the cost, sadly.
I'm so incredibly grateful to come across these things - they are so precious to me and it honestly feels like the gift that keeps on giving. He's no longer here with us and neither are the rest of his family members, but there are still things to learn and discover about them through the things they kept.
Please let me know if you've inherited any special items from people who have passed away, or if you've found something after they've gone. I would love to hear your story. ♥