Before the holidays I went to an estate sale. I don’t get to one very often. They rarely seem to be close to where we live the best ones in the area are typically a 30-40 minute drive and it’s not an ideal place to bring kids some sales don’t even allow children so they have never been very convenient for me. But the experience is my all-time favorite. Every sale brings a mix of emotions and the last one I went to was certainly the most emotional yet.
After I had Xander I worked one day a week at a small clothing boutique. It was my chance to make a little money as a new stay-at-home mom and be surrounded by pretty things. Shortly after starting they hired a fresh-out-of-college, full-of-life girl named Jaimie. Jaimie and I had gone to school together, but she was several years younger than me. I had always known who she was but really got to know her and her heart while working together in this small shop that didn’t see much traffic. Her mom was battling cancer at the time and I felt a strong desire to sow seeds in her. I only worked there for about a year, but she left imprints on my heart that will always be there.
Jaimie’s mom lost her battle with cancer a few years ago, and right before Thanksgiving this year her dad had an estate sale. I knew from the things I had heard from Jaimie that her mother was a woman of elegance and style…I was curious to see what she had and also knew it would mean something to Jaimie if I went.
Walking through someone else’s house when they’re not there is always a bit odd. When you personally know the circumstances it can feel even more heavy. I didn’t know Jaimie’s mom, but I felt really emotional going through the sale. With some time on my hands I was able to meticulously go room by room through their beautiful home and take her in. From the jewelry she wore to the entertaining pieces she had collected over the years – she was a women of class who clearly had a passion for life, food and sharing those things with others. I loved the chance to get to know this woman more, and it was clear why Jaimie had turned out so special.
I don’t really make resolutions, per se, as I think they can often be unrealistic and not fun, but this year I resolve to go to more estate sales. I thrift all the time and it’s great, don’t get me wrong, but thrift stores are mostly filled with things people didn’t see value in for themselves anymore. Estate sales are filled with items people loved. There is something wonderful about resolving to take care of things that another person can no longer take care of. Our stuff isn’t what’s most important in this life, but the idea of someone else enjoying the things I’ve collected and treasured over time is nice. Using and wearing items with a past feels special, and when you can tie them to a person or a house they feel even more so. Anytime I pull one of these pieces out I know I’ll smile and think of my friend and her beautiful mom.