I've mentioned before that my Mama and Aunt Mary are cleaning out my Granny's house and getting it ready to put on the market. I cannot imagine the emotional fatigue such a task is for them. (I hope Mama recognizes this and does something miraculous so that years from now I am not living what she is right now!)
At any rate, Mama has been bringing home boxes of treasures for each member of the family.
She says that sometimes she and Aunt Mary know exactly what to do with an item as they are pulling it out of a cabinet or drawer at Granny's and sometimes she gets it home and lays it out on the kitchen table and wonders exactly what to do with it.
She also says that she and Aunt Mary will find something and sit and laugh about a memory attached - like their old Author Cards or an extravagant Valentine's gift. Other times they just dissolve into tears.
We have begun to look forward to Mama's boxes of assembled treasures. It is almost like Christmas when we dig into our box to see just what goodies are there. For us, some of them evoke fond memories and bring misty tears to our eyes and for others, we just have to giggle and for yet others, we furrow our brows and just wonder.
The other day I went to Mama's and she was sorting through some of Granny's personal things that she had brought home. There were some pins that I remember Granny wearing poked into a pin cushion Mama had cross-stitched for her. There were some ear rings and necklaces. All sorts of jewelry and very little of which was truly valuable enough to insure or even worry about keeping secure. I'm sure each piece had a little story that my Granny could have told us about if she were there.
There was a little ruby pendant on a delicate little chain and a big gaudy teardrop CZ. One piece was a sweet little gold and blue enameled bird pendant on a gold chain that would have brought out the blue in Granny's eyes. Some were probably Christmas gifts we grandchildren had given her or something she had picked up at a yard sale to wear with a particular dress or jacket. Treasures.
Mama sorts through them all to try to make sure that each of us girls in the family got some piece that belonged to Granny to keep and remember her and places them in a box along with some odd candle-holders, Christmas Tree plates, blue-and-white trivets, hand-embroidered napkins, and such. Then, she hands the box off to her designee and we take it home to find a place to stow it away or display it prominently because it is a piece of our ancestry.
When Bridgette's box was delivered, she happened not to be at home. So, the box was set on her back porch to await her return. She sat down with Lillie and Lydia to go through the treasures and the seven-year-old and five-year-old were so excited to be the recipient of some of the Christmas plates. Bridgette mentioned that she had no idea where to put them and didn't think she would have an occasion to use them. I suggested that she just eat breakfast on them Christmas morning and it would become a simple family tradition that her children would treasure all the more when they became adults.
Next, Bridgette sent me this picture:
...along with the message that "Lillie especially liked this jewel."
Yes, that is Lillie who liked this purple and sparkly and quite large necklace and pendant. You know, Lillie. The one who is going to grow up and "live on a horse ranch and only take a bath on Thursdays." That Lillie.
Bridgette said that she very seriously explained to her that she might get to wear it when she was a bit older and directed her toward something a little less...well just a little less.
After they had sifted through their box of treasures, Bridgette said that Lillie looked up at her and quite seriously remarked, "Granny had some nice things didn't she Mama?"
So, you see...
Everything really is a treasure to somebody. Bridgette was wondering what on earth she was going to do with some of the items in her box but her children were quite impressed with almost every item for one reason or another. They recognized the association with Granny, if nothing else. They appreciated the fact that it was a piece of their heritage.
And indeed, all of it was special somehow but the value to anybody else was certainly lost without the background that goes with it. Of course, we look at all of her stuff as special because it is a little piece of my Granny which has been left behind since she is gone. Where nobody else would know that or even really care. So, as you look around today, try on a different perspective and see if things don't just look a little bit differently to you as well!