Spring into Spring Cleaning
By: Marcie Droll-Durian
As we have all made it through a horrible Winter filled with too many missed school days to count, and feeling like prisoners in our own homes, the thought of brighter and warmer days gives us a new sense of cheer and puts a spring in our step!
Of course, Spring also makes us think (or at least some of us) of Spring cleaning and airing out the stale air of a closed-up house from the long cold Winter. Outside of the overall cleaning of the windows, walls, air vents, etc., have you thought about Spring cleaning with your seniors? Not just the house but starting to go through some of their treasures with them to enjoy the stories and learn more about the things that are stored away and may have be of significant importance to your loved one from different periods of time throughout their lives.
So often, we are left after a loved one is gone or making a transitional move which may not allow the time to go through things and many can be thrown out or given away to a thrift store without knowing how special a meaningful an item may be to your loved one. I once came across a religious picture at a Goodwill that now hangs on a wall overlooking my living room. Someone had written on the back that this picture of the Sacred Heart must never be sold or given away, as it had been blessed at the person’s house by a priest, listing the person’s house and a note next to it with the name of the next generation saying this person was her mother, please don’t sell, and always keep in family. I didn’t know this family but felt compelled to buy this picture and give it a new loving home where I would ensure and hope that it would be treasured and kept by my own generations following me.
Tucked away with all of those treasures could be the gown that was worn by your Great Grandmother after birth, which may look beautiful hanging on a wall or donned on a new baby in the family for a special picture and to then be passed down the generations. A crystal cake stand sits in my antique cupboard that was given to my great aunt on her wedding day and who is now in her 90’s. She was the only sister of my maternal grandfather, and it meant so much to me to have that piece of her history and my family’s history displayed in my home. I also think of after my husband’s mother passed, and the months that were spent after she died going through the farm house and deciding what to keep and what to sell. My husband found a set of 4 glasses that had pictures of characters on one side and notes to songs such as My Old Kentucky Home and Daisy Bell on the other side. He has those glasses in our home now and had the fondest memories of those as a child and how he loved to look at them and read the songs. I only wish his Mom would have been there to share even more stories with the 7 children that were still living about some of her special treasures. I know it would have made these special things mean so much more. Maybe your senior has hidden a special letter or handwritten recipe card that could be matted in a frame and hung in your home or given to a great granddaughter as a wedding shower gift from her great grandmother. This can be a very loving and beautiful gift that is unique and cannot be bought in a store!
So many things that can be passed down, and the beauty of the time you can spend with your loved one hearing the stories behind the items that you would have never known details on had you not done this Spring cleaning while they are still with you. Now I must say, I know we cannot keep everything, or I would be writing a whole different article! I just mean that some very special treasures may be missed if you don’t take the precious time while you have it!
LivWell Seniors serves as a local agency providing community-based resources that are 100% free to seniors and their families. They are funded by the senior care providers that utilize their service and network of connections. For further information, contact us at 563-265-1577, or visit our website at www.livwellseniors.com.
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