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Collections: A Life's Story

Updated on November 6, 2009

Collecting for Enjoyment

Perhaps, a person's age could be determined by the amount of dust covered boxes in the attic, or by how many no-longer-in-production knick-knacks we have on our shelves. Either way, collectibles tell a story of about us.

What we collect portrays our personalities, likes, and interests. The way we care for these items indicates how precious they are to us. Collections are a form of commitment; the things that speak to us. Although, they may be stored away for many years, or sit collecting dust on a shelf, the memory associated with each is never forgotten.

Some collectibles are family heirlooms, passed on from generation to generation. Every time a collectible is passed to the next family member, it is done so with the assumption that it will be loved, cherished and cared for. Every collectible has a story. Unfortunately, sometimes its story gets lost or distorted, and a piece of the puzzle will remain lost forever.

Not all collections come from grandparents or parents. Sometimes, when we are young, we get interested in something, like stamps, glassware, or coins. Little by little we gather information and items that are continued throughout our lives. It doesn't start out as a collection to be handed down to our children, it's just something we like.

As we grow, so does our collection. When we move from our parent's home to our very own place, the collection might be packed and stored in an attic, or it might travel with us. Often times, our first home or apartment is not the last move we make. Sometimes we move many times between high school and retirement. Oh, I know, this seems like a terribly long time, and it is; in fact, it's a lifetime!

If our collection is not on display and lives in a box tucked in a corner or attic, it can be erased from memory for awhile. But, when we go through those memory boxes, every collectible springs to life and it's memory is fresh and new again. These forgotten articles spur a trip down memory lane, and we get to relive the moments again. Things like where and why we got them, how old we were at the time, and nostalgic feelings are awakened.

Sometimes we gently put them back in the box, but many times we dust them off and place them in a prominent place in our present-day environment. Whenever we stop and look at them, we smile and get to peek behind the doors of our past once again. It's a private place, a special place, a place forbidden to outsiders.

Most collections are not about money, not really. Of course, they may have increased in monetary value over the years, but mostly, our collectibles bring to mind a sense of peace and enjoyment. If the item is a favorite teddy bear, just holding it in your arms lets you zip back to a special time in your life. Collectibles are personable and have stories shared only with you. The story deserves to be told, and whether anyone cares to listen or remember, don't pass up an opportunity to share its story with a family member.

One day, these collectibles will be in their hands, and it would be nice if its story would continue to live. If it has a story that only you might know, take a few minutes to jot down its story and put the note with the item. This way, the story will get to live on, even if you are unable to tell it.

Our collections, memories, and favorite things are part of our own life's story. These memories are priceless, and can never be retrieved if they are allowed to be lost.

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