I was talking to my sister-in-law the other day, and she mentioned she’d donated some of her mom’s costume jewelry to a charity that helps women get back on their feet. She said that she didn’t know where they came from or who had owned them, her mom may have known, but the stories died with her.
That reminded me of an afternoon with my dad. We’d been cleaning out the basement, and even though my mom’s been gone for 10 years now, it’s still hard to part with her treasures. I told him it was OK to let go of these things if they weren’t his style and pointed to a large, purple glass vase that had been around for ages. I figured it was a safe bet that he’d want to get rid of that.
That’s when he told me a story of when they were newlyweds. Now, I knew the draft notice had showed up on Valentine’s Day bumping their summer wedding to March, and how they spent hours making ceramics on base as cheap entertainment, I’d even heard how my aunt and cousins came to visit and my oldest cousin flushed a watch down the toilet and grabbed a plate off the wall and smashed it on the floor. Those were the tales of early marriage that I’d grown up hearing.
This was a new one. When they were first married, my grandma came to visit, and they took her across the border to Juarez. They’d visited a glass blowing factory where they had watched them make a purple vase. My grandma had bought a similar one and brought it home.
I remembered seeing it in her house filled with grass plumes, and after her death it had come to my parents. It was more than just a glass vase—it was memories, and good time, and laughter.
My dad admitted it wasn’t really his style… I told him not to worry; I’d find a place for it.
Share your stories before it’s too late.