Sentimental Value



I dislike clutter and unfinished projects and things strewn about haphazardly.  Sadly the dislike does not translate into neatness.  The latest task I’ve been putting off is cleaning out my shoes.  And I know why.

I have a few pair of sandals that need to go in the trash.  One pair, though, gave me pause and so I haven’t done anything.  They are a white pair, with leather and fabric straps, discolored and a bit frayed now; totally stretched out so they are no longer comfortable to wear.

But I bought them with my best friend; my best friend who is not here anymore.

When Diane was not battling cancer, she was tons of fun.  Actually, even when she was battling cancer she was fun!  One day we went shopping and hit one of my favorite shoe stores.  I have a hard time finding shoes and cannot shop at most shoe stores.  Well, that day I hit the jackpot.  Diane was good luck and I bought the white sandals, a pair of burgundy wedge pumps for a steal, and the pair of sneakers I went in to buy.

The sneakers have long since bit the dust, the pumps I still wear, but the sandals have seen better days.  Yet I feel awful to throw them away.  They remind me of fun, happy times with a friend who I miss.  When we get together for the holidays with her family and I sit next to her husband at the table, I miss her.  When it’s time for girl’s night out, I want to call her.  I know it’s just a bit of leather, fabric, and rubber and that my memories are more precious than old sandals.

And I know, for whatever reason, that I’m not ready to let them go.

The irony is that Diane was one of the neatest, cleanest, most organized people I have ever or probably will ever know.  She is laughing, looking down at me saying, “Throw them away. You can’t wear them. Get rid of them.”   And I will, when I am ready.

Do you have things of little or no monetary value but big sentimental value that you can’t bear to throw away?  What or who are they reminders of in your life?

Copyright 2014, Deanna Bartalini


About Author

Deanna G. Bartalini, is a Catholic writer, speaker, and educator. She and her husband Deacon John have two married children and a grandson. Deanna loves teaching about Catholicism and how it fits into our daily lives. She writes at, serves as the editor of the blog, and is a contributor there as well as at Deanna contributed to A Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion published by Ave Maris Press. She has written “Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control” one book in the series of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women published by Our Sunday Visitor. Deanna is available to lead retreats and speak at catechist and ministry events.


  1. Oh the sentiments here are really tugging at my heart. Prayers for your loss and her family.

    I have these crochet clowns that quite frankly scare my children and remain hidden in a closet. They were a gift from my godfather when I was a child on one of the last times I visited with him. He too has since died from cancer.

  2. Melanie Arroyo on

    My son past away at 19 years old 5 years ago. His favorite sweatshirt hangs in my closet, his box of contact lenses. I can’t let them go!

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