Keepsakes

A keepsake is by definition “a gift that evokes memories of a person or event with which it is associated”.
We live in the social media era and the most common keepsake of our time is probably the photograph. It’s instant, easy to access and widely shared through facebook, twitter, instagram and the like.
It is usually digital and the vast majority of the western civilisation probably take at least a few pictures every week with their smart phones and digital cameras.
But despite it being such a big part of our daily lives, every picture and image is still precious to us and their loss a minor catastrophy.
My mother in law recently lost hundreds of pictures of her grandchildren due to a faulty memory card… images and little details of memories she will most likely never get back.
People often don’t hesitate to spend hundrets of pounds on photoshoots to get their babies, weddings and even pets photographed. The camera is one of the most essential items on everyones holiday check list…

And it is true, pictures are wonderful keepsakes – they capture so much from hairstyles of certain eras to first teeth and the smiles of lost loved ones…
They freeze a moment in time and produce an image that can be used to help recall that moment. And to share it with whomever you choose.

Babybump-10

(http://jessica-roberts.com/)

I have pictures all over my house – in frames, in albums, on back up files on my hard drive…
In fact I back up all photographs from my phone and camera once a month onto a portable hard drive in case anything ever happens to either decvice… it is small and seperate to the Computer so can easily be unplugged and carried in the event of a flood or fire … (yes I really am that obsessive ;))

But I am the proud owner of many, many treasured keepsakes. It’s my most favourite hobby to make and preserve memories in whatever way I can think of.
I have a story for almost every present I have ever knowingly been given and all of our ornaments have a very special meaning to me …

I am going to open my treasure box as it were and share some of my most precious ones with you … and the stories that go with them …

I don’t have many photographs or keepsakes from my own childhood.
As I mentioned before- I was raised in what is called “die neuen Bundeslaender” – the parts of Germany that were under Soviet occupancy before the Wall was built…
In legacy of a communist community  it was the norm that if your mother worked with say 5 other women which most likely all had children of different ages then you would swap childrens clothes, toys, prams and everything you could think of amongst each other…
We also moved houses a lot throughout my childhood and as a result not many childhood items other than a few books or teddies remained…

But there is two which I love dearly and have now passed on to my two children:

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I have had the blanket ever since I can remember and when I was no longer using it I saved it so I could use it for my own children one day…
Now it belongs to my daughter and she loves it just as much as I do…
The teddy on the chair is a souvenier I received from my mother when I was about 3 years old … It’s one of my earliest memories.
My mother had to attend a seminar and was gone for several days and when she got back she gave me this bear. It now belongs to Sameth, my little boy.

I have made sure that I preserve my childrens most precious things for them so I could share and pass them on to them one day.
So I brought each of them a wooden box when they were born and painted them.
They contain things such as maternity notes, ultrasound pictures, umbilical cord clips, first clothes, cards, and even an empty tub of stretchmark cream – it was the only cosmetic I could stand the smell of when I was pregnant 🙂

 

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We also had foot and handprints done for each of them when they were two months old and it was really astonishing to see the size difference when we collected Sameth’s …

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(http://www.pennikkitypots.co.uk/)

 

I have also already given thought to what each of them would inherit should something happen to me and informed my hubby accordingly (who thought it was maybe a little morbid … 😉 )

Winry will be given my engagement ring, the most beautiful item I posess, the golden heart necklace her daddy brought me the day I found out I was pregnant, as well as the pearl jewellery I wore on our wedding day.

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Sameth will receive the only family heirloom that I have:

My Grandma was a “Sudetendeutsche”. That means she was an ethnic German but living in the the lands of the bohemian crown.
After 1945 most ethnic Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia and sent to Germany and Austria. They were only allowed to carry the most essental things with them when they were marched out, things such as food and basic clothing.
My Grandmothers Uncle was a cobbler and he hollowed out the heel of her boot and hid the little angel in it that she had been given by her mother for her baptism. When he re-sealed the heel he indented it slightly and it has had a mark on it ever since …
I wore it as my “something old” pinned under the skirt of my wedding dress on our wedding day…

 

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And we make new memories too, and try to immortalise them, there is quite a few nifty little companies out there that take pride in preserving mementos of other people’s lives…

There is one that I am very fond of at the moment and have coincidentally come across on facebook.
It’s a one woman organisation called “Treasured Trinkets” and she makes personalised silver and stainless steel jewellery and ornaments such as mine:

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(https://www.facebook.com/amidotty)

 

And one last one …
I have always known that I would want to be a mother. When I met my husband in 2006 we fell in love instantly and knew we wanted to stay together despite the fact that he lived in England and I lived in Germany, we knew we would make it work.
We wanted to have a Family together and grow old with one another…
Before we were even married or trying to have a baby we went to China due to my husbands work and came across a baby clothing store.
He asked me if I wanted to go in and have a look around and we actually ended up buying a few items for the children we would one day have…
Now, many people would say that’s bad luck and conceiving our first child took us over two years and certainly caused some heartache…

but I just wanted to share this picture of my Son wearing one of those items of clothing nearly exactly 6 years after it was first purchased…

 

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And on that note…

until next time …

tada …

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