Nobody stopped me taking anything but to me, Papa was alive long after he died. When the years started to go by, I retrieved 5 items belonging to my dad. It was my way of letting go but not completely.
#1 is Papa's "official" Photo. The one where he wore a suit. I have always had this photo with me but when we had our permanent home, I installed this photo there.
#2 is a wooden hat hanger my brother David would have liked to keep but I made him give it up to me. This hanger circa '50's (or earlier?) is a long wooden item with brass pegs around the top on which to hang one's hats except being Asian, he had no hats & Papa hung his pants on it. Amazingly it's in great shape & still looks like we bought it only yesterday.
#3 (also at our permanent home) is an elephant's tusk with the middle cored out to insert a non-filtered cigarette. It sits on one's lips majestically - cooler than a piece of jade to the touch. Papa used it rarely but I know he loved this piece.
#4 is a cigarette case I gave to someone who treated my father like his. To have something which belonged to our papa meant a lot to this man & he treasures this item as much as he had loved the man himself.
The last item is the Ivory Buddha in the photo. He's small enough to be portable so he has been our travelling companion for many years.
My family is somewhat confused as to my religion. I am NOT a Buddhist - not having even read a single line from a Buddhist book & yet I had our Buddhas blessed by a lovely Lama ("Lama Lambchops") from Tibet. I am not a Christian although I was brought up in a missionary school & prayed for many years as a Christian.
You can say I am "hedging" my bets?
Whenever I have conflicts or questions or troubles, I stand in front of Papa's Buddha & I talk to him. As if my father's listening. Me having a monologue with this inanimate object comforts me greatly. Much the same effect as when I have a conversation with Uncle.
Last nite and some other bad nites, when I thought we may leave suddenly, I packed up Mr TB carefully.
This morning I put him back where you see him now because to the people who works here, they know whether Madam is thinking of good or bad thoughts depending on whether they see Mr TB - or not.