So lesson #3 for me is that when someone you love passes you quickly discover (or rediscover) what’s valuable and what’s not. 

I’ve been searching my mom and dad’s house top to bottom, in every cupboard and drawer. I’ve turned contents in cabinets and chests upside down, knowing that what I desperately need to find is somewhere. I just don’t know where.

It’s not her jewelry. I know where that is. My dad has my mom’s wedding ring, diamond earrings and other valuable bits in a safe. The ‘costume’ jewelry is in various cases and boxes. And the most precious items, for me, have been inexpensive pieces, but priceless for me, now, in terms of sentimentality. There’s a ring with her initial, a ring with my granny’s initial and surprisingly, a ring my mom must have had made for my dad when I was born, because it’s a signet ring with a star sign, Taurus, and I’m the only Taurean in the family. That I know of. 

My mom had one or two death benefits that will pay out but my brother is handling that and I think whatever money there is, goes to my dad. 

But yesterday I found what I’ve been searching for. Something more valuable than all the gold, silver, diamonds and money in the whole wide ‘university’ (as Ben says)! 

I found the box of photos I’ve been desperately looking for. And photo albums. And I sat and went through each and every one. I took a few for me, and left the rest for my dad and brothers, in case there are any they want.

I laughed at our outfits, and ridiculous poses. I wondered at times who the heck had taken the pics, because there were a lot with heads chopped off, and even more of…nothing! Just a blurred square of nothingness. The cameras in those days, unless they were super professional, didn’t have the best zooms, and there were loads of photos that looked like they were of nothing until you really really really got up close and then you’d realise the little speck looking back at the camera was in fact a person. I cried, because there was my mom, right in front me, but not there. And the feeling of ‘not thereness’ was overwhelming. 

But I found some that I will treasure for as long as I’m around. They’ll go up on the wall and I’ll look at them everyday and be reminded that in life, it’s not the things money can buy that bring you the most happiness. It’s the people you love and who love you back! 

No valuables, none, will bring my mom back, but those ‘worthless’ bits of paper are priceless. They give me a little piece of her everyday…


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