When my mother died, my brain pretty much locked in place. I couldn’t think clearly about what to do with her tiny estate, so I let it slip out of my hands. Gone.

Although she died in the same community in which I lived, her house and property were over 2,000 miles away. Even though I had filled a small trunk with items I wanted years earlier, when the executor refused to send me that trunk, I just gave up on everything else.

Years later, I came to realize just how valuable a few of her possessions were.

I realized just how much my mother meant to me when her dog died. I had been caring for the dog since my mother’s death, and now both were gone. The combined loss hit me like a ton of bricks, and the floodgate of tears opened.

When we were raising our children, I figured it would be a great idea if our girl had a hope chest and out boys had foot lockers. The idea was that in the event of an emergency, their treasures could be located and removed quickly. If they gathered up too much “stuff” over the years, each child would have to decide which items were the most important, and rotate their treasures.

That was the idea any way. I never got around to providing five foot lockers for our boys and one hope chest for our daughter.

The children’s mother and I parted ways, but fate brought her back to within 45 miles of my location over 20 years later. She ended up buying her parents home – along with all their collections from many stops around the world. The most important souvenirs were carefully placed in a hope chest – like his Army uniform – while many more were displayed on a variety of shelves.

A couple of years later, my ex decided to share the memories her folks had left behind. She told her siblings to come get when they wanted, then invited our children to do the same. That hope chest was the most treasured possession of all.

With all these thoughts running through my head, it is easy to see why THE HOPE CHEST by Viola Shipman jumped out at me when offered by Goodreads.com. “The discovery of one woman’s heirloom hope chest unveils precious memories and helps three people who have each lost a part of themselves find joy once again. . . . With each item—including a favorite doll, family dishes, an embroidered apron, and an antique Christmas ornament—the hope chest connects Mattie, Don and Rose to each other and helps them find hope again in the face of overwhelming life challenges.”

I was lucky enough to win the CD version from Goodreads. I will send it to my daughter who does a great deal of driving. She has listened to dozens of audio books in her car, and this one will be perfect for her!

I look forward to listening as well!




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