Over the past six weeks, my parents have had the unenviable task of going through my grandma's belongings, deciding what should be kept, what should be thrown out, and what should go to charity. In amongst this, each of the five branches of the family (that is, my four siblings and I, plus our respective partners and children) have had opportunity to see if there's anything we want to claim before it goes to charity.
That has been an odd proposition: my grandma had a lot of stuff, quite a lot of it quite nice, and yet... the truth is that we tend to want very little of it. In many cases, this is largely because while it's nice, we have equivalent items of our own which are generally better - and little storage space for things that might "come in handy". Better that they go to charity and from there to good homes. Let them do what good they can.
But there are some exceptions: items of sentimental value. These tend to be quite few - my attachment was always to the person and not to specific belongings, and there aren't many things that will help me remember her better. Some photographs, of course, and one or two other items, but not much else.
Still, I do sometimes think I should want more of it than I do. As I said, an odd proposition.
All that said, there were three items that I've claimed for reasons of sentiment, two of which I expected and made sure to lay claim to, and one that came as a surprise.
The first of these was a squirrel. My grandparents had a great many of these, collected over many many years. It was their thing. But one, in particular, had some importance - it was made by a very young Steph/ven some decades ago and had spent those decades in pride of place on their mantlepiece, to the extent that the paint is faded on one side.
The second is a plaque they had mounted in their hallway that discussed the origin of their surname. I'm not sure why I liked that in particular, but there it is.
But the third one came as a surprise. It is a mug, and of course it has an anecdote attached - it's a simple blue mug with a yellow flower on it, nothing much to look at. But when visiting this was the mug that I always used. In effect, it was my mug. (CJ and A had their own mugs, too. I don't know about R or G - I would presume they must, but can't be sure.) I hadn't seen that in a good many years, since as Grandma's mobility declined and the weight of stuff became overbearing, I had adopted the policy of just using whatever cup was available to hand. But she still had it, still kept it safe.
And, unexpectedly, it is now mine. Again.