Crossing the threshold, mother and daughter paused as their eyes adjusted to the darkened interior. Lit by shaded lamps and candlelight, their awareness of the contents of the room began to register. “I remember this,” Mother exclaimed as she approached the old boiler and free standing clothes wringer. Therein was a story Mother began to tell. As her story unfolded, the daughter attentive to her every word, asked questions as they shared the remembrance. A pattern of discourse that continued on as they made their way throughout the shop.
An hour later, two elderly ladies peered into the shop, then crossed the threshold. Looking about they conversed between themselves. One noted how none of her children wanted any of her keepsakes. And how lucky her companion was to have children who did.
Two pair of visitors, each with a family. The first, occupied by a daughter who had the compassion and wisdom to know keepsakes embodied her family history. The second, a mother whose memorial will not include keepsakes that she had held dear, for her family did not find the time to listen until she could no longer tell.