‘Stuff’ has sentimental meanings

Published 9:12 am Thursday, June 4, 2009

I’ve always been a sentimental person and that has become something that is more pronounced in my life as I get older.

Most of the stuff in my home is there because it belonged to someone else – namely my mother, grandmothers or grandfather – before it was passed down to me.

While I’m one of few men that enjoy shopping – something that often dismays my wife – I’d prefer to go to an antique store, flea market or yard sale before going to Wal-Mart or the like.

The things that matter to me mostly come from other people and they are very much an important part of my life.

There are so many things that I call prized possessions that I wouldn’t even begin to know where to start. Some of them come from friends and some from family and they all are a part of my life in some special way.

I have two figurines that were on my grandmother and grandfather’s – Sidney and Wanda Scott – mantle in their home ever since I can remember. The hand has long since been broken off of one of them, but that matters not to me.

Wherever I’ve lived since they have come into my possession, they have had a very central place in my home.

I also have their china cabinet and buffet. They’ve been with me through every move I’ve made over the last several years and I wouldn’t want to be without them for any reason.

I have several Bibles that are special to me. I have the first one I was ever given, my father’s Bible and one of my mother’s. I also have one that was given to me by Eric Davidson, who extensively taught me the work of a youth minister. My mother’s and Eric’s have their handwriting in them and that makes them even more special.

A good portion of the dishes and cooking utensils I have came from either my mother’s kitchen or my grandmother’s. They have been special to them and that’s why I’ve wanted to keep them in use despite their old age.

Another thing I treasure is a bookcase my grandmother – Vivian White – had ever since I was a little boy. It has always been in her house and I’ve always thought it was one of the neatest things on earth.

Several years ago when she was still living at home, she wanted a smaller bookcase and told me I could have hers. Since it was the one thing I had always wanted upon her passing, I certainly accepted. Now that she’s gone it means even more to me.

I have a box that I keep a lot of my special trinkets in. I have some from the days when I was a student at Campbell University and others that I have collected over the years.

That box is something I treasure even if nothing in it is important to anyone else on the face of the earth. It contains things that I’ve been given that I treasure beyond belief. They are memories of the people that have passed through my life that I have known and loved. They are a part of me.

Several years ago I started assembling my collection of quotations into leather journals. I took time to write each one of them because that is the way I wanted them.

Several people asked me why I didn’t simply put them on a computer so they could be more easily manipulated, but that was never what I wanted.

The reason I wrote them is so my son could have the quotations I collect in a lifetime at his fingertips in my handwriting. If he’s even partially as sentimental as I am, it will be a special gift when I’m not here anymore.

Thadd White is Staff Writer and Sports Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. He can be reached via email at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or by telephone at 332-7211.