Back when my father died, we divided up dad’s belongings among myself and my four brothers. This included dad’s coin and silver collection. Since 2000, my share of the coins and silver has traveled with us from San Francisco to Atlanta to San Diego. Every now and then I would take it out, look up information on the Internet (because everything you find on the Internet is true), and update a spreadsheet I had started years ago.
Yesterday as I was reading the newspaper, I noticed a three page ad for a traveling coin and jewelry show. I had been considering selling part of the collection — having just looked up local coin dealers last weekend. So I packed up my collection in an old camcorder bag and went to the show. The buyer quoted prices for the different pieces and then asked me what I wanted to sell.
I hadn’t told him where the coins had come from. I sat there for a few moments and then decided to sell less than half of what I had brought. Even then, I was extremely torn. As I left the show, I felt bad for selling what I had saved for so long and had hoped to pass down to my own daughters. I know dad’s intentions were to benefit his children and he saved what he had in order to bless his family. Even still, it was a time of mixed emotions. I think I drove home on auto-pilot because my mind was elsewhere.
I was thinking about my dad and my children. I was thinking about the relatively small worth of the coins and silver compared to the immeasurable worth of the memories they carried. I allowed myself a few moments of sentimentality — or maybe I’m just getting old and weepy. Either way, or a little of both, I’m thankful for memories and traditions and legacies. And a bit sad, too.