The Cedar Chest Memories

10.29.14-Photo-Cedar ChestThis cedar chest might have looked like just another piece of furniture, but recently, my brothers and I discovered it really was more like a “treasure” chest.

My Mum had received the cedar chest as a Christmas gift in 1949 so it has been part of her life for almost 65 years. Over the years, important things were kept in the cedar chest, not so much to keep out the moths, but to keep in the memories.

The chest was too large to move to Mum’s new condo and her fondest wish was to have someone in the family want it. Mum’s grand-daughter, Emily was interested in the cedar chest, but not terribly interested in the contents.

That’s when things got interesting. Mum, like many parents, had collected things over the years she thought her children would want…someday. In our family, someday arrived recently. The cedar chest was opened, unpacked and the contents distributed to each of us.

As items were removed from the chest, they were sorted into baskets for Karen, Stu, Don and Doug. When we were at the house for a work weekend, each of us took our basket and loaded it into our car.

Then, Mum asked when we were all going to sort through the baskets. Just in time, we realized this would be a wonderful opportunity to share memories with each other and with her.

All four baskets were immediately returned to the garage to be opened the next day accompanied by dishes of ice cream, some story-telling and a lot of laughs.

Who would have thought the clown and alligator pajama bags Mum made for us when we were little would looks so scary now? We laughed when we saw how they’d aged – not nearly as well as we had – we figure!

Treasures included two blue Christening rompers from Eatons worn by my twin brothers years ago and Dad’s “vintage” motorcycle shirts, leather helmet and goggles.

Mum kept school projects like her Kindergarten art book from 1935 and Doug’s number book. “I hope there are some girl’s numbers in these books”, Doug said as he leafed through the books only to realize the only numbers in his number book were 1-2-3 and 4.

There was also a well-worn “S” crest from some long-ago Superman costume, “Topo Gigio” ears and my Dad’s “Grinch” and “Christmas Story” sweatshirts.

Scout uniforms, high school sweaters, baby books, photographs, a smocked dress, a plaid kilt, and a couple of sad looking fur collars… everything brought back memories.

One thing we know for sure… the stuff wasn’t all that important.

But that Sunday afternoon, the five of us sat around the garage…laughing, sharing and connecting as only family can…was priceless!

Thanks Mum for your gift of sharing the memories!