Each of our rooms are named after a different person in John and I’s life, either our mom or grandma. Shirley’s room is named after John’s mom. I never had the pleasure of meeting her. She passed away in the spring of 1996 and I didn’t find John until 2006. From the stories that I have heard, she was a very smart, kind, and loving woman. I do wish, I knew more about her. But that is hard to do, without actually knowing a person. I wonder what traits did John inherit from her? What about his brother and sisters, how are they like their mom? I know that I am similar to my own parents, but also different from them too. Our family helps to form who we are. I like to honor and remember them. Maybe that is why I love genealogy and family history so much.
As I was decorating each room, I tried to incorporate things from each person. It was really difficult to do John’s mom and grandma. He didn’t have very many things that were theirs. Trust me, I had more than enough of my mom and grandma’s things. In Shirley’s room, I chose some pictures that his sister, Kaye, took and a few doilies she made. I did know what her favorite color was. Well, that at least I could work with. I could make sure there was green in the room. I, so wanted, to have some of their things, but I didn’t know exactly where to look.
John did mention, there may be some things in the storage unit. After his mom passed away, his family moved everything out of their house in Beach, ND and a few things were place storage, here in Highmore. I’m sure the memories may have been hard to deal with. And so the things were kind of out of mind and safe right where they were. Not much has been added or subtracted to the unit in over 20 years. I knew we may find something there, but it wasn’t my family things to go thru and I didn’t feel it was my place to do. So, we kept procrastinating and didn’t make it down there to look.
Finally, last Christmas, John and his sister, Kirstin, went and checked out everything in the storage unit. Oh, the treasures they found! Okay, maybe they didn’t think they were that great. But, they did find things to laugh about and tease each other over. Smiles and maybe a few tears, were had by all. A few decor items have been added to Shirley’s room for all year.
However, it was the Christmas items, which I cherish the most. They were tucked away, until this year. As I was decorating that room, I couldn’t help but think about Shirley. The Christmas before she passed away, she bought 5 stockings for her kids and daughter-in-law. They were never used and still have the tags on them. I washed them up and then hung them up. I wonder if she had decided, which one was for who? There were lots of tree ornaments. Some many that I bought a big jar to put some of the balls into. The rest, adorned the small tree in the room. When I was done, I sat there hoping that she was liking that everything had a home again.
And I think she has been smiling down on John and I.