Here is a picture of my mother’s cruet set, missing three glass bottles from my careless handling. Not that I have ever used the cruet set in the five decades since my dear mom died. The glass has dropped and shattered as I have sloppily transferred the set from one area of storage to another.
I look at that darn cruet set and face a cosmic dilemma. What do I do with a reminder of my mother that I will never use and that my children will never want? When I showed the set to my adult son and explained the emotional attachment I felt, he nodded thoughtfully and asked “What the heck is a cruet?” (A cruet, also called a caster, is a bottle that hold olive oil or vinegar or mustard.)
Advisors to emotional hoarders like me say “let go.” Take a picture, they advise, if you want to preserve the memory. Look to the future, they counsel, instead of wallowing in the past. And always remember, they say, that your children will never, ever want a cruet set.
I have finally decided to unload the cruet set. The emotional attachment is still strong but it has been overcome by an even more powerful insight about me and the future:
Polishing cruet sets is not on my bucket list.