I don't remember the exact time frame my parents gave me my bedspread, curtains and hangers, but I was still in high school. It would have been for my 15th or 16th birthday, but I just don't remember for sure. I do know, though that they meant the world to me, and I still have them almost 30 years later. It's stuff like this that makes decisions hard for me.
The bedspread they got me was a very pretty floral design with lavenders and roses in it. It wasn't your typical cotton fabric that can be so stiff and hard, but a soft, sort of silky taffeta. I'd fall asleep stroking it. I just loved it.
The curtains had sort of a romantic way of falling on the window - light and airy. They were semi-sheer with a valance sewn on the top, and when they were criss-crossed one behind the other, you couldn't see through them at all, but they let in the light. I felt like I was in a fairy tale in my bedroom with the lavender carpet and my matching bedspread and curtains. My bedroom always made me feel happy.
Mom spent hours sewing on a flat lavender lace to the edge of the bedspread and the 4 curtains to make them match, and to make them more special. She put so much love into dolling them up for me, and I was in heaven!
Years later, after my hubby and I were married, I found more of the curtains at a store in North Carolina. I bought another 2 sets, so I had 8 curtains all together. We had a lot of windows in the house where we lived, and I wanted to still be able to use the curtains my parents had given me. I put the ones without the lace in behind as liners, which allowed me to criss-cross the ones with the lace in the front. It allowed for brightness and privacy at the same time.
We used the curtains and bedspread until 8 years or so ago, when we finally bought our bedroom set and changed color schemes, but I haven't been able to bring myself to get rid of them. I mentioned the other day that our daughter gets married next week. She and her husband will close on a house a week later, and they'll be getting the curtains to use in their bedroom, as they'll match color-wise. It makes me feel good knowing that they'll use them for awhile, too.
I still am not sure what I'll be doing with the bedspread, but I'll be doing something special with it. It's been too big a part of my life to just give it to someone. It was something that has never, ever made me unhappy. Not once. There aren't many things in one's life that can be said about. I have Mom and Dad to thank for all those years of happiness!
At the time that I had the lavender lace-trimmed curtains and bedspread and the lavender carpet, I needed hangers. This was back in the day when plastic hangers first came out, and they were only available in a few select colors. So imagine my delight when my parents surprised me with a new package of lavender hangers for one of my birthday or Christmas gifts! I was thrilled! They lived with me in countless homes and traveled the US with us. They've been a very big part of my life for the last 30 years.
So when I went through the hangers the other day, I made the decision to finally let them go. I put them in the bag with all the other hangers I decided to give to my friend. But it hasn't been easy. I had to request that she send her son to come pick up the bag as soon as possible, so I didn't dig through and retrieve my lifelong companions. I've been okay as long as I haven't thought about them, but even while writing this post, I keep wanting to email her and ask her for the lightest blue hangers with the lavender tint. My heart is racing, I'm feeling quite anxious, and I'm regretting giving them away.
I know that this feeling will pass. I may still have twinges of regret tomorrow or even the next day, but I'll make it through.
I have the memories. Memories of love, of Mom and Dad and the sacrifice they made to give me such a happy room. The memories will be enough.
Nobody can take them away.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.