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2020 Nov

Precious Things

Peggy shares how healing happens when you let some things go.

Lately I’ve been giving stuff away. Some of it’s junk, I’ll admit. But other items are precious to me. They hold memories that reach far back into my past to times when I was filled with incredible joy and a feeling that life was so good, so perfect that I wanted to stay in that moment forever. Then there are the precious things that take me back to a time when my heart cracked like a mirror into tiny, jagged bits with sharp edges, like pieces of me broken and strewn across the floor.

I’m getting ready to part with a small wicker baby carriage, toddler sized, which my daughter Sierra used to push around with her doll babies inside. I remember her putting her “babies” in the high chair and pretending to feed them, just like I fed her baby brother. The carriage was a gift from Opa, Sierra’s Dutch grandfather, a symbol of family love.

Sierra died not too long after she received the carriage as a gift. That was 30 years ago, and ever since I’ve held on to the carriage, unable to part with it. But recently I decided to let go of this artifact of Sierra’s life. It’s time. And I thought of a lovely little girl to give it to. Kristina is turning a year old this month, the perfect age for this baby carriage. Soon she’ll be pushing her own doll babies in it. This makes me happy inside.

Sierra would have turned 33 this month. Hard to believe. It’s been a long, winding road since she was part of our lives, but I can still see her gap-toothed grin in my mind. Giving up things that remind me of her is bittersweet. I love knowing another little girl will grow up with a treasured toy, and yet it’s a bit like letting a piece of my daughter go.

This Thanksgiving be extra kind to the people in your lives. Everyone has a sad story, and if you can bring a smile to someone’s face, just do it. Life’s rough sometimes, and we all need to reach out and love one another. Especially now. Wishing you and yours a blessed, loving Thanksgiving this year.

P.S. Sierra’s sudden death and my family’s journey back from sadness are chronicled in my book: Still Life with Sierra. It’s a story of hope, perfect for anyone who’s experienced a loss. Find it on Amazon or I can send you a signed copy for $15. Email peggy@tidewaterfamilyplus.com. Thank you!

Peggy Sijswerda

Peggy Sijswerda is the editor and publisher of Tidewater Family Plus magazine. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Old Dominion University and is the author of Still Life with Sierra, a travel memoir. Peggy also freelances for a variety of regional, national, and international magazines.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

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