I don’t really know what the right word or phrase to call these are. Memory boxes? Keepsake Boxes? Life Boxes? Heirloom Boxes? Memorial Boxes? (that last one was vetoed by my Mother as being too morbid). So, what are they??
Well, when my Dad passed away in 2007, we did what every family has to eventually do. We went through the process of sorting out his belongings and personal effects. As anyone who has gone through this process will appreciate it’s certainly not easy, however once the process neared completion I was left with certain things that I could not bring myself to bin. Things like his birth certificate, old childhood photographs, school certificates and school photos as well as old school reports. Personal letters, his marriage (and divorce) certificates. Old passports, official government paper work - Basically the evidence of his life.
Given the circumstances, this small pile was quickly gathered up and put into a Tesco (supermarket) bag after which it was then put in a drawer to be ‘sorted’ at a later date. Fast forward seven years and embarrassingly Dad and his bag are still lying in the drawer.
The intention was always to one day go through the contents. Put the paper work in page protectors. Put the loose photo’s in an album with some descriptions next to them and find a place to keep the ‘memento’s. Ideally I wanted a brief photographic outline of his life and who he was but more importantly, I wanted a better archive and resting place to it than a plastic bag.
The reason I wanted to do this was, that while my Father and his extraordinary life, meant something to me, he was becoming a bit of a distant memory for my daughter. My fear was that, if I never got round to finishing (or starting) this project Dad would end up staying in that bag and he would quite quickly become just a name on the family tree and his story long forgotten. I felt Dad deserved better than that.
Which is why when Jackie came across the idea of making a certificate folder for youngest daughter Charlotte, the very next thing I wanted her to make was a box for Dad! (It wasn’t by the way, it would have been a bit of a big ask for only her seconding binding project)
My brief was quite simple, a two tier box with the top tier deep enough to hold a 12”x12” album and underneath somewhere big enough we could keep stuff! The box and the covering also had to last generations. The outcome is a multi tiered box with a buckram covering and colorado book cloth lining.
The only thing that wasn’t and still hasn’t been decided, is was what is the generic name of this item? Is it a Memory Box? Maybe a Memories Box? Bereavement Box? The Family History box?