The Family Bookshelf – My Memory Box

the family bookshelf

Do you have a favorite place or space in your home?

One of my favorite spaces in our home is the family bookshelf.

It’s kind of center stage in the great room commanding half of one wall measuring about 8 feet wide by 9 feet tall.

Hubby custom built this a few years after we built our house.

My “usual” seat on the couch directly faces this “memory box,” and sometimes I just stare at all the memories while hubby is staring at the television or the latest book he is reading in the evening.

It’s filled with so many favorite things…

There are a lot of family photos – some from a long time ago and some more recent…

Like our oldest son at 4 years old playing a toy saxophone and then a framed newspaper clipping of him playing a saxophone solo in the high school band.  There’s one of him and his beautiful wife – our beloved daughter-in-law.  There’s one of him and his Dad with a cake they made for a Cub Scouts competition and one in his “cap and gown” at his preschool graduation.

There are photos of our youngest son dressed in his favorite Halloween costume that he wore two years in a row when he was Peter Pan at 4 and 5 years old, in his football uniform for midget football, sticking his tongue out with his Dad and brother on a summer trip to Cedar Point Amusement Park, grinning at me at his preschool graduation, with me at a Kindergarten party where I was his homeroom mom, and with his sweet girlfriend now.

There is a photo of my hubby with his sister when they were young children…  a sister and aunt who we loved dearly and lost way too early from cancer.

And there is a photo of my father-in-law taken on his last day on this earth when he was blessed with a surprise visit from a favorite niece from far away who he hadn’t seen in years.  It is such a sweet memory to see him so happy just hours before he left us.  We will never be able to express enough gratitude to this sweet lady for the joy she brought him that special day.

There are photos of friends and fun times, like a trip to Hawaii with our besties and holiday celebrations with all of our kids.

There are a few books, some significant, some not…  There are high school yearbooks, photo memory books, bibles, favorite children’s books – like our very favorite bedtime read-aloud story book – “Bob and Jack – A Boy and his Yak.”  There are baby books for each of the boys and a special memory book made by my cousin Joyce and given to me at Christmas featuring my first year blogging at LifeinBetween.me.  There are books read at book club and business books and bird books and favorite fiction authors.  There is a copy of the book I wrote and had bound as a gift to my Dad for our second Christmas together after reuniting.  Our wedding photo albums sit on one of the shelves.

Then there are other sweet memorabilia, like our youngest son’s stuffed animal “Curious George” who he loved so dearly as a child and slept with every night.

There is the birthday bear my Dad sent me on my first birthday after we reunited after too many years apart with a sweet note saying, “Happy Birthday Jodi, My Little Girl.  Love you, Dad.”

It was my 48th birthday.

And there is the little trinket box he gave me that says, “Daughter – With all the Beauty on the Earth, there is nothing more Beautiful than you.”

There’s a statue of a yellow lab that was my father-in-law’s sweet memory of his beloved “Brandy.”

There’s a cruise ship trophy our oldest son won singing Karaoke on a cruise with his now wife on a family vacation he went on with her family.

There are “Friends” blocks given to me from my BFF.

There is a photo album of our Cleveland friends wearing Pittsburgh Steelers shirts and poses too explicit to share here after they lost a family bet during a rival football playoff season.

There is a gorgeous painting from a faraway friend who suffered from a life-altering traumatic brain injury that completely changed her life and turned a corporate CEO into an artistic genius and a genuinely beautiful creative inspiration.  I bought her very first piece of artwork, and I treasure it so dearly.

My heart is smiling as I type and recall these memories.

You see – a home is not brick and mortar.  It is not plaster and paint.

It is the memories.

It is the family and friends and people you share it with.

My favorite little plaque hanging on another wall in our home says it all….

“The thing I love most about my home is who I share it with.”

So that is my special home “space.”

What is yours?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

26 thoughts on “The Family Bookshelf – My Memory Box

  1. Jodi – I went back and read the post you wrote about reuniting with your Dad. It was beautiful. I found myself sharing your happiness, and also thought to myself – “If I lived in Pittsburgh (I am assuming that is where you call home based on the sports allegiance) I am pretty we would enjoy hanging out together.” Hope your holiday weekend is blessed with sweet memories remembered and new memories made. 🙂
    And btw…I picked up some caramel filled chocolate morsels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awh! Thanks so much Kathy! Yep – Mars is a suburb of Pittsburgh, and I think you are right – backyard birdnerds unit! Enjoy those cookies!!!! 🙂 Appreciate your comment, my friend!

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  2. What a beautiful book shelf and wonderful family memoriabilia! I enjoyed reading about your book shelf and all the wonderful memories and things that it holds. That’s right. A home is who you share it with. That includes all the wonderful memories we have of our loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As we help an elderly parent move to a senior home, as we contemplate leaving our large home for a more manageable condo, it is fitting to be reminded of what “home” truly means. And even when we have to part with some of the memorabilia, we must remind ourselves that they were just a trigger to our memories, and memories live on forever in that special place in our hearts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Marguerite – I am glad this message touched you where you are on your journey. And you are exactly right – the stuff helps us remember, but the memories are in our hearts no matter where we are or what we have! Thank you for your beautiful comment.

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  4. Love this post, Jodi…what is wonderful about reading it is it makes a person reflect on their family’s memories…and I believe that is your passion- inspiring others to see and feel life in their in-betweens! XOXOXO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awh! Thank you Cindy! That is exactly the goal. 🙂 I’m glad you can see that and it helped you reflect upon your many blessings and memories! Hugs! xo

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  5. Enjoyed reading about your special keepsakes and memories, Jodi. And love the shelf your hubby made you. Your creative touches help make your house a home too! ❤️ My favorite place is my art room. A bulletin board with little bits of memories and my artwork and others on the walls. It is my sunny place! Have a happy day my friend! 🌼🌈💜

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  6. I was a Marine Brat so I moved a lot too…until Mom said enough is enough this is your last tour and Dad retired from the Marines. I was 5 then and we followed the money as their careers grew from then on.
    My favorite place in my home is what I call “the Retreat”. It’s Big Baby Boy’s old bedroom. He went out of state for college and never came back. When he did come back he chose to go to Southern Cal instead of home in No. Cal. So, instead of having his room be a shrine to him I changed it to my retreat. I love it! Though when he comes home to visit I gladly give it up for him to use.
    We’re remodeling our house at the moment and adding an additional bedroom that will be my retreat going forward. I can’t wait until it’s finished!

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  7. We have so many shelves and curios with memories stuffed into them that we feel surrounded. Can’t walk anywhere in the house without being reminded of some moment in time. And though that is a nice feeling, it has this nasty habit of reminding us of our age too. Jodi, I can see why your bookshelf has a special place in your heart. Happy July 4th! :O)

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  8. How wonderful that you have your memories out on display to enjoy and share! For me, a room is incomplete without books and photographs. Each give a home personality. My favorite place is our living room where I have my bookshelves filled with memories just like you have. All my things have stories and are not just there to “decorate”.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Looking back…. looking forward | life in between

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