Not Your Average Chick

Stationery Enthusiast & Mental Wellness Advocate

Family history sold to the highest bidder-NYAC

Family History Thrown Away

 

Losing an elderly family member is difficult, let alone dealing with the artifacts they accumulated over the years.  Stifling through photographs, clothes, and other personal memorabilia once cherished may trigger nostalgia. The pride your grandfather had for his World War II medals and your grandmother’s fine china set that she set out for holidays and special occasions.  Each time telling the history of their collections. It takes me back to a time when I were so clueless and took those moments for granted.

 

Oh, what I’d do for one more 24 hours with my grandparents.  First I would listen and listen some more about the days when supplying food for your family was a struggle.  I would want to hear of the coal boat ride from Ireland to Louisiana, about my great-grandfather winning the medallion his daughter so proudly wore around her neck from winning the World Soccer Cup and stories of my grandfather playing the harmonica and my grandmother tap dancing.  I want to hear their thick Irish accents again.

Family history sold to the highest bidder-NYAC

On my continuous search for vintage things I look at an auction site and can’t help but wonder the stories behind the treasures.  Better yet, the story of why these items are being auctioned off. Sadly that’s an easy answer. Greed. Adult children unable to reach an agreement in terms of splitting the items up or preference of money over antiques. The decisions ultimately come down to the will, who has the best attorney and other contributing factors that determine what is done with family heirlooms.   The monetary value of these treasured trinkets seems more important than the lives that were laid on the line.

 

War medals and uniforms for example.  I could never get rid of something of that nature had my mother or father fought in a war.  My brother and sister, on the other hand, could care less about like that. All of my grandparents passing has happened within 13 short years and I am sad to say while I was around I wasn’t present.  I was inebriated. That holds no bearings as they were not my parents and I had no say over what stayed or went but my parents did. My Ma would keep things of her fathers and my dad, the narcissistic, egotistical asshole that he is (We don’t get along if you can’t tell), had my grandparent’s belongings sold in order to gain more money than he was already entitled to.  It was his parents that were immigrants. It was his parents who held the stories of our life in America and it was him who threw it all away. And for what? The all mighty dollar.

Family history sold to the highest bidder-NYAC

A common theme I have noticed is that women hold onto items as a concrete reminder and men seldom become emotionally attached… to anything!  Ok, I am being a man-hater, I apologize to the men reading this!  This holds true with my family. My father allowed our family history to be traded without considering the sweat and tears behind much of the belongings.  My mother held onto what was left of her father’s pride, his treasures. However, this isn’t every instance as I am sure some men cherish their families relics.

 

The purpose of this post isn’t to debate who does what as much as it is to say this…  Don’t sell your family history for monetary gain. Unite as a family and have pride in what your parents earned.  Split items up and hand them down with the stories through the generations. You never know who in your family it will empower.  Recreate the memories of your parents with your children. Be proud of who you are and remember how you got there. Someone worked hard to give you what you had growing up and their efforts do not need to be auctioned away and discarded.

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6 thoughts on “Family History Sold To The Highest Bidder

  1. Sheri says:

    I totally agree with you about passing on family heirlooms. I always hate seeing old pictures and photo books in antique stores because I think that’s someone’s family and now they are being sold to strangers. I’m very lucky in that both my parents are sentimental and we are fortunate to have a lot of family memorabilia. They are even in the process of moving a barn my great-great-grandfather built in 1897 back to our family land and restoring it. Most people would’ve let that barn fall to the ground but they think it’s important to save it and keep it in the family! I’ll be writing a blog post about it sometime soon! Thank you for sharing your great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for restoring history. It is a beautiful thing.

      Like

  2. Candice says:

    I agree that the stories should be passed down to the generations that follow. The items are another matter. We live in a condo, and after passing on as many belongings of my parents to their grandchildren as they wanted, there was still a lot to sort through. The problem of storage caused us to donate much to local charities, and we were able to keep only a few small items.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand things like furniture and items in excess but documents, metals and heirlooms I believe belong within the family.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ashleyleia says:

    I’ve thought about this with regards to my Grandma, who at 101 is not long for this world. And there are very few physical things of hers that I would want to keep because for me that’s not what holds the memories. I don’t care at all about getting money for any of her things, and I think this attitude is more consistent with a general disinterest I have in accumulating things. What I value more than anything is a book Grandma wrote a number of years ago about growing up on the farm. She didn’t publish it, just printed copies for the family, and my copy is certainly the most valuable reminder of her that I could have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rightfully so and it is likely I could have hoarding tendencies, lmao but true. At least it is organized but I also go for a minimal living. I just wish I had things as important as military medals and things of that nature. I would want to continue collecting my Ma’s interest if she were to pass but we are extremely dependent on one another. Could be unhealthy.

      Liked by 1 person

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