Friday, February 13, 2009

Cherished in Family History


Most women have precious things they hold dear. Often little things, most are cherished because of their origin. It's these things that we hold with high regard and teach our families to do the same. In my childhood home, mother cherished things that were 'wedding gifts' and we all knew to treat them with tender-loving care. Sis and I would wash and dry wedding china with just a little more care than other dishes. And alas, if a piece of 'wedding gift' glassware broke, it was sad indeed. Mother's English teacup and saucer collection consisted of eight or ten sets that were all 'wedding gifts'. They were highly cherished and rarely used. Instead they were displayed in a pretty cabinet and dusted each week with care. Even wedding linens were held in high regard: tablecloths, doilies, or satin cushions. Most weathered our childhood years and even the years when our children were the little ones visiting Grandma's house. And how these cherished mementos cling to us, or we to them, when life takes its sad turns. When Mother passed away, sis and I spent one day a week together for an entire summer, sorting and organizing and dividing things up. Those sad days contained much sweetness as well, as they provided us with the opportunity to speak of our memories and to touch and feel things that had long been forgotten. Some of Mother's things were donated or sold, but many were divided between sis and me as a link to Mom. We took extra, special care to not give away or sell anything that had been a 'wedding gift'. Looking back from this perspective, we realize that some of these things were of small monetary value, but they are cherished just the same for what they were and are. If it was a 'wedding gift' it went in a special place; a place for 'family history' and to be passed along to future generations. Such sentimentality, but no regrets for cherishing those things which remind us of mom. Cherished, just like we cherish the memory of her.

Photo: tablecloths like Mom's at Elm Street Antiques; sis has them and I have no pictures of the originals.

13 comments:

  1. My mother has very few keepsakes if any from her wedding since my parents immigrated with few possessions from Iran to the USA. The things she's accumulated as gifts from her children over the years will be given to her grandchildern to enjoy. My husband's mother has a lot more vintage goodies since she was born here in the states and married here...
    Happy Valentine's Day to you LaTeaDah!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a sentimental post. How precious to still have these items your mother held so dear.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a wonderful post!
    Thank you so much for sharing it...
    Happy Valentine's Day!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are so sweet. It is plain to see that you had a very dear mother, which explains your sweetness I'm sure.:)
    Wedding gifts are definitly meant to be cherished in my book as well. They may be material but its the thought behind it that counts. The way we take care of those special wedding gifts is the way we should treat the one we married, with great care and tenderness, regardless of their faults.
    Take care,
    ~Salina

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My sister and I did the same thing. Mom died a year ago but because of dementia had to move into a 'home' for the last three years of her life. I would go home one day a week and she and I went through everything piece by piece, dividing up what we wanted. We tossed some stuff, gave keepsakes to various friends and relatives. But the majority we kept for ourselves and our children.
    We did the same thing for our grandmother and our great-aunt estates. I'm telling my baby granddaughters who I keep while dd and her dh are at work, this was your whomever it belonged to so we are extra careful to take care of it and one day you will be the caretakers or it for your little girls. I tell a story about it how when I was a little girl Granny, Dee, Echie, etc always used it this way...pickles, tomatoes, flowers, etc. I'm hoping some will rub off on them so they will cherish family history like I do.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My mother had very little, but what I brought home I cherish also. They do bring back memories that we treasure.

    Love the tablecloths at the Elm Street Antiques.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Such a wonderful post. I am going to have to some visit one day and go to Elm. amazing tablecloths. Clarice

    ReplyDelete
  9. Have never heard this voiced, but such was the case in my childhood home as well. Mother has several collections that were "wedding gifts." Never used wedding gifts, which seems sad to me. I also have my great-grandmother's cocoa pot...a wedding gift never used, but lovingly cared for. If it had ever been used, I might not have it today. Funny thing is, it's a wedding gift to her and her first husband...not my great-grandfather, but still very special all the same.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am amazed how many items my mom still has that were wedding gifts. For me having been through a painful divorce, it was necessary to leave some of those things behind. Now I have collections left behind from relatives to fill the void.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is so wonderful that you have many articles to cherish that belonged to your mother. A beautiful post!

    ReplyDelete
  12. My grandmother had a table cloth like the one there, too! Very sweet post!

    ReplyDelete
  13. A very sweet post. I always enjoy reading about your mother.

    Katherine

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.