How to dispense with our deceased loved one’s things and when is such a difficult question to answer. How long do I leave his room untouched? How long will those clothes hang in the closet? Do I continue to display his photos? What do I do with all those important possessions? Society will say get rid of everything ASAP and move on, but that is the wrong answer. There is no right answer. It is an individual choice that takes time to figure out. Just remember not to let “things” interfere with your grief. I found the more of his possessions I gave away the more I healed and celebrated his life. That is what worked for me. What works for you? What I have done over the past 4 years is gradually shared William’s things with people I knew could either use them or would keep them safe in their care. Many of his personal items had connections to these wonderful people. For instance, all his military gear and uniforms were returned to Camp Le Jeune soon after he died hoping other marines and sailors from his platoon could put them to good use. Two years later I received the following message which mended a huge piece of my broken heart: <<Mrs. Keys, I do have to say that tonight I brought Will into the delivery room with me. He used to have this camouflage bandana I ended up with it when you sent a box of his military garbs. I got to wear it in the operating room when I scrubbed in to help the doctor deliver our little girl. Lots of love to you and yours and we thank you for the well wishes.>>
Next month will mark 4 years since William died and I am still sharing his stuff. I told you it takes time. Just recently I sent this cookbook to my friend Debbie of Culinary Cellar fame. The time was right. I had the privilege of visiting with Debbie and her thousands of treasured cook books back when William was in boot camp at Great Lakes, IL. This book, a Christmas gift from me to him, was hard to part with, but I knew there was no one better than Debbie to keep it safe. Turns out Debbie is “honored” to have it and knew the author to be a judge at several of the Pillsbury Bake-Offs. I wonder if David Joachim was at the bake-off in San Diego on the day William decided to join the Navy?
When it comes to cooking there is never any question that I keep a few canned goods in my pantry. How and when to use them is easy. I use a lot of canned beans like chick peas and kidney beans and tons of canned tomatoes and coconut milk. Although I haven’t tried these recipes I thought I’d share a few that appealed to William.