Think about physical objects you would like to leave to your descendants. In this case, I'd like you to focus on things that are exclusively yours - not other family heirlooms you have inherited from older generations. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about what you value:
- Things you had to work hard for: A university degree or dissertation, a medal from a race or other sporting event in which you participated, a volunteer or service award, a uniform or piece of equipment representing your career path, books, poems, or stories you have written (published or unpublished), your own genealogy research.
- Things of sentimental value: A wedding ring, photo albums, ticket stubs, a favorite childhood toy or book, special notes or greeting cards.
- Things you made: Quilts and knitting projects, pottery, artwork, hand-crafted furniture, recipes you created
- Things that reveal your personality: Your favorite music album, book, or film, a personal journal, a favorite piece of jewelry or clothing, a favorite piece of artwork
Once you decide what objects you would like to pass on, it's important that you write down what these objects are and when you received them, AND explain why they are so special to you. The grandkids are much more likely to save a couple of old concert tickets if they know that they were from grandma and grandpa’s first date. Then, make several digital AND paper copies of this list and keep them in safe, but accessible, locations. Don’t undervalue the objects, experiences, and memories of YOUR life; to future generations they will be worth more than you know.
©2012, copyright Emily Kowalski Schroeder