My grandma died recently and since her passing there has been a lot of time spent clearing her house out. That first time we were there after her death it felt so strange, like we were cleaning up the leftovers after a party. Everyone was very respectful but there were still a lot of, “who wants to take this home?” and “does anyone want this?”

For the most part people wanted the things that had a story with it. I came away from her house with a game I remember playing with her when I was little and that my kids had played with. We all talk about her whenever we pull it out. It’s an old marble game that you could probably buy on Amazon or Ebay but we wanted the one from Grandma’s house because of the memories trapped in it.

I look around at my house and I wonder which things will mean something to my kids someday. My guess is it’s the things that they will remember doing together — things like the big bin of Legos that they dump out and dig through all together. Our daughter likes to collect pieces and make a store for the boys to shop at. The boys spend their time building airplanes and buildings. The little kids are usually trying to steal pieces and everything about it is perfect and fun.

I hope those memories and feelings stay trapped in there forever. There are other things, too, that I hope will become mementos of our happy life together — games played together, books read, framed quotes (we pick a theme every school year and the kids memorize them), special china that was my mom’s that we use on the most special of nights, the cradle my dad made that all our babies slept in…

I hope too that when they read The Hope of Azure Springs and any other books I get into print that they will remember me typing away on the couch. I hope they’ll remember me setting the computer aside to play with them or help them with homework. I hope they’ll remember how excited they all were when I finally gave them permission to tell people I’d written a book. I hope the memory of it is captured and cherished.

What memories are captured in the things around you?

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