Lives On Consignment

Lately I’ve been visiting the consignment shop around the corner. It has lots of high-end furniture and various types of decor. Everything is styled so nicely.

On several occasions I’ve purchased something.

There is the birdcage I brought home one day. It just needed someone to tighten the screw to the hanger to be as good as new.

A birdcage with a faux plant inside that I bought at a consignment store.

Often I go in and just stroll up and down in between furniture arrangements. And I look at all the things people have done away with for one reason or another.

One day I bought these red vases. The color appealed to me more than the shape. I knew I could find a place for them in my apartment.

Two red vases styled in a vignette that I purchased at a consignment store.

I walk around and look at all the furniture and odds and ends of other people’s lives. Were their lives well-lived? Have they now passed on?

In the background, I hear other customers opening and shutting drawers of furniture. Some are measuring something to see if it will fit in their home. In their life.

But what I think about is, who did these things belong to? Did a parent die and the children didn’t care for the parent’s taste for furniture or decor?

Maybe they sent a big trailer over to the shop filled with things their mother loved. But that they don’t care to bring into their own homes for one reason or another.

A brown birdcage I bought at the consignment store.

Maybe there was a divorce and whoever got the house didn’t want the contents. Everything was a reminder of something beautiful that had gone bad.

Maybe they couldn’t bear to see the items they picked out together on vacations. When love was just a bud of promise. They had thought, of course, that love would bloom and become a lovely flower.

But then, as often happens, life got in the way. Or a job or another person. Or maybe over the years they simply drifted apart.

And after everything unraveled their beloved things ended up here, in this consignment shop. Destined to go home with someone else without the memories attached.

Was it hard, giving these things up? Did it make their heart heavy when they brought the items into the store and set them on the front counter? Asking if the owner of the store might try to sell them.

Did they walk away with sorrow or relief? Or maybe it was both.

My living room with two red vases I bought at the consignment store.

I am nostalgic right now, grieving over my beloved Charlie, and my heart is heavy. I’m often near to tears at any given moment.

If I look over at the couch and imagine Charlie laying there as he did so many times, I come undone.

Yesterday what got caught up in my memory was him sitting in the passenger seat of my car as I drove along.

He would stare ahead as if he knew exactly where we were going.

My beloved dog Charlie, now gone, laying on the couch staring at me.

My sweet little man, so trusting and precious. He loved those car rides.

Remembering this, seeing it in my mind, meant I cried off and on for the duration of the day.

Maybe grief and feeling sentimental sent me into a store I’ve passed hundreds of times but didn’t bother to enter.

To see lives now on consignment. Items that once belonged to someone else’s story. And I wonder what that story was.

These items from another life left behind. And at some point meant to go home with a stranger. To then be a part of their own story.

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31 Comments

  1. Your blog touches my ❤ heart.. This one made me cry..I have never commented before but had to after reading this…your blog is calming and I am constantly drawn to it..bless you as you go through hard times and good times🌻

  2. I find Estate Sales very sad. I am in my 6th Decade of Life and have many things I treasure that I doubt either of my two grown Kids would care to keep at all.It.s rather sad .But Life goes on. And Ms. Brenda you gave Charlie Boy the best life anyone could give to a Dog.Of course we miss our Beloved Pets ,they leave Pawprints on our Hearts .

  3. Hi Brenda,
    I live in Tulsa metro and I was wondering if you might share the name of the consignment store.

  4. Brenda, you have my deepest sympathy on your loss of Charlie Ross AND Abi Rose. My family and I know the heartbreaking feeling of losing a precious fur baby member of the family. So glad you have Ivy to keep you company.
    I’m one of those who has taken things to sell in a consignment shop. I needed some extra cash and had toooo many pieces of decor items. The shops are interesting to visit.
    I love your red vases……red is my very favorite color.

  5. Hi Brenda, Glad you are out and about but sorry it made you think of sad senarios about the items you saw in the consignment store. Try to think these people may have just wanted to change styles or add new colors to their homes. They once enjoyed the things they have consigned but ready for a change.Many reasons people consign. If they truly don’t care for the peices they give it to Goodwill etc… Your mind set is understandable giving up sweet Charlie and probably why all things seem to have sadness attached. In time we never ever forget that loved one we miss but it becomes a precious memory we remember. Hope you feel better in time.

  6. True to heart…I, too, think about where “this or that” have been…I LUV THOSE RED VASES…& that cage isn’t “too shabby” either!! “Good buys” are not always easy…franki

  7. Oh Sweet Lady, I know how deeply you must be filled with grief over your lovely Charlie. I know it is only with time that makes it a bit easier to bear as you move forward. I lost my beloved Simon 2 years ago, and I still have days of tears. Wrap yourself with whatever provides you with comfort. 💕💕

  8. I love going to consignment shops, I find it very exciting wondering what I might find. I love the two red vases you purchased, I can see a single flower in each, but then someone might decide to play with them!

  9. Your writing is so beautiful I love it Dear Brenda ,you touch my soul.I understand loss and feel it deeply like you. Though we have never met I feel I know you .Those of us that read you need you in our life .

  10. My dear, dear friend …. such a beautiful post! And I can give you one answer to your question: In late 2003///early 2004, my husband and I split-up; I went back to my father’s house, while for the immediate, my ex stayed in the marital home. We were supposed to split the items BUT instead he not only trashed the house- he emptied it of its contents….. Right before the pandemic shut everything down, I was in a thrift store and called to my friend shopping with me – in what she later described as a voice she had never heard me use. It was an item from our home!!! So my question was ~ and how have you spent the last 15 years of your life?!

  11. So many stories and so many treasures. When we moved I donated so many things to the thrift store, not necessarily because I didn’t want them but because we are downsizing and I knew I wouldn’t have room for all of our stuff. I hope that whomever buys my things knows they were loved and used and celebrated with.

    As for Charlie, perhaps he was sitting with you in the car, if only for a moment to say “hi mom, I love you and I am ok.”

  12. Love your new items you found at the Consignment store. Its much more fun to shop there or at an antique mall than for new..my opinion only of course. :0) The red vases look great..score. :0) … I hope that in the soon near future you will find another furbaby doggie to love on..just as you did Charlie and his sister, too. Its so painful to lose one..and I am like you..daily occurrences remind me of the ones who have crossed over. (My now gone, Della Mae would always partially miss her pottie pad ..but she tried so hard..but would hit the edge only..lol..so when or if one of my others has that ah, oh…I think of Della and how she must be with us still, or missing us..but no..she’s not missing us or she would not be in doggie heaven.. :0) .. But we sure do miss them alot..always. I have a new puppy who is about 5 months old now..she is sweet as sugar an puppy devilish, much..lol But she is getting better each week. Best wishes.. and grief is always a part of our lives and is ok. 🙁 !

  13. Perhaps, like me, these folks are just simplifying their lives. I am on a mission, Minimalism inspired, to live in a cleaner, simpler, less-decorated space. It brings me a feeling of joy and lightness to let go of what I no longer treasure and allow someone else to enjoy it for awhile. Letting go of things can be a positive experience.

  14. Some people replace their pet right away. I have read of that last week. Some prefer to wait or don’t replace the pet at all. Whatever works best for you is what you should do. We didn’t replace our dog because of our age. But we still have a cat who is past 14 years but lively as ever. We are content.

  15. One time I purchased an amateur painting at a thrift store. The artist signed it so I googled her name and found her address. I wrote to her and told her I was now the proud owner of her work of art. She asked me to take a photo of it and send it to her. She was so tickled when she received the photo. She told me that in the 1950’s & 60’s she was a secretary at a women’s college. I found photos of her on the internet from that period. I attached my correspondence with her to the back of the painting.

    I think that it’s healthy for you to weep whenever the pain of Charlie’s passing comes over you. I’ve been in your shoes. It’s not good to hold it inside. Cry whenever you need to.

  16. Maybe one day you can bring a new pup into your home so you can have a dog to spoil again.

    When you were dreaming up all those stories behind the items you saw in the thrift store, I pictured someone watching too many minimalism videos and decluttering their house. That’s so popular right now. I love the items you bought. Very nice!

  17. A very thought provoking post, Brenda! You will grieve for Charlie for a long time but in time the pain won’t be as bad as it is now. You know exactly what I’m talking about because you still grieve for Abi Rose. Gentle hugs, Brenda!
    Love the bird cage and red vases. Perfect additions to your home.

  18. It could be that someone sending things to a consignment shop, or donating them to Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, and the Re-Store and other charities, has changed her style over time and hasn’t worn the prior furniture out and it still looks brand new. Choices can be limited what to do with such furniture and decorative items when everybody in the family has houses filled with decor to their own taste.

  19. Beautifully written post, and love the red vases which are perfect just where you placed them.

    I understand about the sadness remembering your sweet Charlie. There will be days when it’s more intense and then days when it will soften. But you know this.

    I emailed you a piece I wrote and that was published about the sorrow of the possessions sent off to auction or consignment shops. But I do agree with the idea of these items now giving joy to a new home. They do, you know.

    Mary

  20. Did you notice my late comment yesterday about the new coffee table you ordered. I’m so curious to know your thoughts. Thanks!

  21. The items that I sell on consignment or at an auction are usually impulse buys from thrift stores, Hobby Lobby or yard sales. I know firsthand the grief you are experiencing. It is a terrible thing. When my husband and pet died, my son said something that I will always remember. He said, “Mama, you can’t go to the next chapter unless you turn the page.”
    Although it didn’t heal my broken heart, it made me realize that life goes on and that I needed to start living again. Take your time and grief, Brenda. You will always carry sweet Charlie in your heart.

  22. Or, sometimes it is a joyful time that we part with things. 2 households coming together after both losing a spouse, finding each other and having just too many couches, tables chairs etc. It can be challenging to mix 2 styles together, but in the end there is comfort for both to share ‘things’ of their past.

  23. Brenda,
    You are a poet. Your heart is so big which makes it an easy target for life’s sorrows.
    But, it is also capable of great love which makes it resilient.
    Charlie is proud of you. Your wonderful memories will see you through until you see him again.

    Marilynn

  24. I am so happy that there are consignment shops and Goodwill etc. When someone no longer wants a piece it can go to places like this and wait for someone that can see the beauty in the piece and relove it into their home. Plus these places help so many in need with the purchase. Win Win. Love your red bottles they are perfect for you. The birdcage is cool too.

  25. Sometimes we eliminate items that remind us of a past life that was difficult or when making a new start, want new things to help us move forward. It’s not always a bad thing. When I donate, I feel relief, because I feel lighter with less clutter and I also think that someone else will find my things to help them make a new start. I feel silly keeping things just for the sake of keeping them, when someone can put them to good use. It might be easier for me, as I am not overly nostalgic or sentimental, when it comes to items. Of course, I have things that I love and would be sad if I lost them. But, I also have 4 cats, and sometimes things get broken despite trying to keep the items safe. Curiosity is real.

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