Estate sales. I went to my first one the other day and found it to be quite sad.
I bought from the home of Mr. Harvey O'Neil Ware was a frame full of family photos. 25 cents. Half off.
One thing I noted was the eagles. Mr. Ware was an eagle collector. A retired Air Force veteran it was obvious that the country meant a lot to him. The representation of the country he had chosen to adopt was the eagle.
The profound sadness for the fact that a life’s belongings were reduced to pennies on the dollar hit me harder than I thought it might. It almost leads to a dismal outlook on life itself. We are but three things, a start date, an end date, and a dash. Those things that mean so much to us, unless they have fiscal value, are generally not important to those we leave behind. So why bother?
This whole experience made me want to know more about Mr. Ware. Who was he? Who were the people in the photos I purchased? Why would family not want these memories?
In my research I found that Mr. Ware:
Had been married for 60 years
Loved children, they had fostered many and claimed one
Was an avid member of the Lions club
Had a son who passed away at the age of 37 (the owner of the yearbooks I purchased for $2.50 each)
Had cancer in 2015
Died in June 2018
What of Mrs. Ware? The house was being sold, so I presume she was on her way to a nursing home or living with one of the kids. She appeared frail in some of the photos, possibly he took care of her in his last years.
What of Mr. Ware’s photos? His family tree has been started on ancestry.com. I could not help myself. He will never pay for it, he will never see it, but it is for him. A tribute to a life well lived, and quickly sold off for 50% of the original bargain basement prices.