Once again, as I mentioned on my other site, I'm tackling the mountain of keepsakes and pictures my mom stored up before her death. If the pictures weren't in albums, they'd almost be easier to deal with, because it would be simpler to toss the photos of strangers. But everybody's in there, all mixed together in no certain order, stuck between those plastic sheets that often stick to the pictures: People from a half-dozen different churches, distant cousins' children, old neighbors, and so forth.
One thing that makes this task difficult is that I wonder what to do with so many things: Pictures of my grandchildren that she had hanging on her walls, for example. I have copies of all the same pictures, so I don't need them. Yet I hate to destroy them. I'm fairly certain my granddaughter, Amber, wants all her childhood pictures.
Mother kept certain letters and notes out of sentiment. There's a letter Cliff wrote her perhaps sixteen years ago, thanking her for all the times she and Daddy had helped us out with "payday loans". I can see why she kept it, because Cliff is NOT one to write letters. I'll let him read it, and then what? Will I destroy it, or save it so he and I can read it again in a few years?
She saved notes and pictures from grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. Here are a couple of examples, sent to my dad in 1987, not long before he died. Wow, that's over twenty years ago!
My nephew's boys sent these home-made cards to Daddy. I believe they sometimes peek in on my journal, and I'm waiting to hear whether either of them (or their parents) wants these.
There are so many things like these that I hesitate to throw away, just in case somebody else wants them.
Another example, although at least she left instructions on this one: During the war in Iraq when our son Jim was stationed over there, Mother wrote a letter, evidently, to President Bush (the first one). I imagine she must have told him all about her grandson being there. Anyway, she received a letter from the White House. From what I can tell, it appears to be a form letter, but I think my mom took it as a personal reply, and wrote on the envelope, "To be given to Jim after my death".
So, my son Jim: at her request I will save it for you. What you do with it is none of my concern.