Yesterday I read a story about a woman who has lovingly kept some of her grandparent's Christmas ornaments for years, and had a mishap which ended with her tree falling over and three of the ornaments being shattered. Because I can understand her pain, I started to reply, and my reply got so long I realized it needed to come here to have it's own space.
I have very few things that belonged to my father, and my favorite is a felt bowler hat that he loved. I don't know why, as he kinda looked like a Puerto Rican Charlie Chaplin in it. Anyway, one day my youngest son begged to play with it. The tyke is named after my dad, although he came along many years after my dad died. I smiled and handed it to him and my hubby almost had a heart attack. He thought I'd gone crazy. You see, he knows how sentimental I can be about what other people think is just stuff. I calmly told him the story of visiting my grandparents in NY when I was very small. My grandfather had a pool table in the basement, and legend has it that he loved that thing more than anything else. Well, I wanted to play pool. Only problem was that I couldn't exactly reach the table. My grandfather told my father, "So let her play," and I proceeded to hold the cue up over my head and stab at the balls over the edge of the table. I'm told the felt was quite torn up when I was done, but I was happy and that made him happy. All these years later I swear I could hear my father say, "Let him wear the hat. It's just a hat!"
And so that's what I did. Makes me sad, though, that it's the closest my son will ever come to my dad.