Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Letting Go of Keepsakes

When I was growing up, I had a very talented aunt.
Every year she knitted me a sweater for Christmas.
My older brothers got socks.

These were not just ordinary sweaters.
They had patterns.

One year she knitted me a poncho.

Another year, in addition to the sweater,
she knitted my Barbie and Ken some outfits.
I can still remember what those outfits looked like.
Barbie had a matching purse and hat.
(Can you even imagine that kind of detail?)

My aunt has since passed away.
Her granddaughter now has three daughters of her own.
I sent them my last sweater (I thought) and the doll clothes.

But look what I found this week.

See what I mean about the pattern in the sweater?

I'm sorry it's blurry, but the label says hand made with my aunt's name.
I've boxed it up to send it to her great-granddaughters.

But I also found this shirt.

I had forgotten about it.
It's a chambray shirt that she appliqued
for me when I was in high school.

I put it in the box, too.

Then I took it out.

Look at all the details. 
She stitched up and down the placket, the pockets, and the collar.

Look at the buttonholes.

She also stitched around the cuffs.

I collected owls at the time.

This is the back of the shirt.

I tried it on.
It still fits.
I don't think it's going back
in the box. 

I'm not sure if  I'll ever wear it.

I just can't seem to let go.

I love you, Aunt Vic. 
Thanks for all the memories.


Cory said... sweet! And wow - she was VERY talented! I remember the sweater she made for me too!

Diann said...

Wow, your aunt was very talented! It is nice that you are sending those to another generation to wear. And the shirt is fantastic! I would wear it today. I think it is fun.

Amy said...

How nice to have such a wonderful keepsake... I would wear that, and my sister too (she loves owls)! I'm a new follower, and I would love for you to check out my blog too! :)

Becky said...

Yes, keep that shirt!!!!! It is beautiful and you should keep it. It is truly a work of art!

April @ Chronicles of a Compulsive Decorator said...

So sweet. What a talented lady!

Angie said...

I love it. I would keep something too. I've gotten much better at giving things (or throwing things) away. But, I can't seem to part with so many hand written notes and signed birthday cards from grandparents. Andy's grandma wrote the best letters - who writes letters anymore? I can't let them go.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Boy, can I relate!

I have a box of clothes that I call my "sentimental clothes". Things my Grandma made me, a shirt like yours from my aunt too, my Grandpa's Pendelton shirt that I wanted after he died (I wanted to WEAR IT ... but it got put into the dryer and now would fit a 2 year old). Oh, and my old Jimmy Buffett and Jerry Jeff Walker concert t-shirts are in there too.

It is so funny, because I've thought about posting about those clothes too, but haven't got around to it.

If you can't bear to let go of something, don't let go of it, that is my motto. I give lots of stuff away, but not things with tons of memories.

God bless,

Kathy M.

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Hang on to that as long as you's priceless with memories sewn right in. Great post...made me a little teary. Thank you for sharing.

Lana K. W. Austin said...

This is wonderful!!! I'm glad you kept something for yourself!!! Such memories! such love and care and time and talent she put into these clothes@!!!!


PS Thank you for stopping by Alexandra's blog, too!!!!!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I have a cedar chest which has some clothes that I made for my girls: smocked, embroidered, tatted lace collars. It is hard to let them go... both the girls and their baby clothes!


Anonymous said...

What a sweet aunt! It' so nice that you can share these things with other family members and continue the memories.

If I were you, I'd keep that shirt and wear it while cleaning house or something that's not so much fun. It's so cheerful and associated with good memories that maybe it would make the "chore" less onerous.

Wendy@~Chez~La~De~da~ said...

You gotta wear this!! It is beautiful and so full of sentiment. Just think of the conversations it would start!! So lucky your grandchildren are to have these things passed on!
I have saved only things that make me cry when I hold them....and they are stored in a cedar chest, the kids will probably never appreciate that little rock they carried to me or the first leaf they brought to me as a present. ~Giggle~


Denice said...

I had an Auntie that made things for me too. She only boys, so her nieces made out like bandits when she created girly stuff. She sewed dresses and Barbie clothes for me, and her husband (and my uncle) made a doll house for me. I still have some of the things she made me, as I too, cannot part with them.