These are a few of the things I kept from Steve’s belongings.

I didn’t want to keep a lot of his things. Enough for the children to be able to know who he was in a tangible way.

But not in a way that brings them confusion or strife. So I threw things away, gave them away, and kept some for us.

I’m thinking of having jewelry made out of some of these items. Or keeping them for the children.

Either way we will always have these photos to know what some of the things were that say who daddy was.

Photos have incredible power. After someone is gone you just forget! It’s so hard to hold onto memories. But pictures can take you right back to that time and place. The smells and feels and feelings. And all the things that happened around the time of that photo you will remember.

That is why when I see a photo of my wedding shoes I remember a day filled with incredible happiness and also comfort. The most comfortable heels ever. If they had been giving me blisters, I would remember that instead. I also remember how I could not find anything that I liked. And then a friend joined me to shop specifically for wedding shoes and we found this pair right away and we sat there in the shoe department talking about life and love the rest of the night.  The other thing that I think of when I see photos of my shoes is how the dogs ate them. Chewed them to pieces right out of my closet. And it’s only because of irresponsibility that was not my own that got that dog into a closet door that was not closed properly. But I love that memory. I no longer have the shoes, but I remember all these feelings when I see a photo of them.

And what I viewed as something that was not my fault actually was because I could have had those special shoes in a drawer or a shoe hanger or a million other ways to keep them from the dogs. The dogs chewed lots of things and I knew that. And so you get into this entire conversation about one item that no longer exists. And the memories of life come flooding in. The ties that we have to one another and the things we pass along. I believe our items have incredible value and credibility to add to this life. I’ve been watching some Marie Kondo episodes and I really agree with her that when you take care of your things, it can bring you much joy. How you handle them. How you let go of them. How you arrange the things you decide to keep.

Tokens from his days in rehab. I went with him to many many meetings. He loved to play guitar and was a natural at it. He also loved music and it really spoke to his soul. Music was on of our greatest points of contention. He liked it LOUD and I could not think with those kinds of volumes. The beautiful thing is that I see this in his children already. Emma says, “It’s too loud!” And Jaxon says, “Mom, turn it louder!” It makes me laugh. He was so proud of his tiny coin collection and he valued these pieces very highly. The leather key chain that swung from his pant loop on the work days. He was a hard working man and he often talked about his need to do physical labor to help ward off the depression he felt from his addiction. And his watches. He loved watches. I gave him a watch for his birthday one time. He traded it for drugs another time. He was so sorry. Then when he graduated from a rehab center that he had voluntarily placed himself into I bought him another one as a graduation gift. He loved to collect knives and kept them by his side or in his pocket on many a fear filled night. I can’t wait to give them to his son. That and the BB gun. He loved to travel. Did you know he went to Hawaii on (I think 4) multiple occasions to give his time free of charge to help do construction at the YWAM base in Kona? A friend and I went to visit him there once. We have incredible memories from that trip. Some good. Some bad. He loved jewelry and wore ear studs sometimes. He was so proud of this necklace with the cross on and I have photos of him with it on at the beach. We had a wonderful weekend that weekend, but I still remember some negative things, too. The rose petal. Flowers from a friend in celebration of is death. The keychain that says, “It is finished.” How he believed that, and yet it was something he felt so unworthy of.

But with all of these items comes sadness and joy. I could tell you many many many stories that go along with each item. And maybe you have a life of complete peace and joy with your items, but I am betting that those wedding shoes that are in your detail shots…. that there is a story behind them. That and the ring your love picked out for you. Or maybe you picked it out together. Maybe you couldn’t agree on style or maybe you wanted to throw those wedding shoes at your fiancé a time or two. Maybe you flung that engagement ring into a meadow only to go dig it out again. (not my story, someone else’s) I don’t know. But the sweetest thing is that you do. You know all the feels that come with each individual item. And that is why details matter so much to me. Because Life happens in those details. So much life.

Credits :

Styling board | Heirloom Bindery

xoxo – diane