Family Heirlooms and Thugs

My grandparents were not wealthy people, but they provided well for themselves and their family. They worked hard, saved, and used cash for purchases instead of credit. I’m not sure if they ever even had a credit card. They just didn’t need one. It wasn’t part of their lifestyle.

Grandmother did have nice things though. Much of her furniture was family heirlooms they each had received from previous generations or had saved to buy themselves. Quilts were made with her own hands or passed down to her from her own grandparents. Doilies were lovingly created by her sisters and aunts and graced each tabletop and dresser in her home. Each one with a special story of who made it for her and when.

She wouldn’t waste her money on frivolous purchases for herself. But she would splurge and allow my sister and me to get something special when we went with her to the grocery store. Usually a sucker, candy bar, pack of gum or maybe a coke from the coke machine. Even if we had those things at home, we treasured them more with her.

She knew how to make everything even more special than it would be otherwise. She’d make our favorite grape kool-aid and serve it in her crystal wine glasses and teacakes on her fine dessert dishes.

She cared for her home and kept everything in pristine order. Her walls were washed at least three times a year, window treatments and heavy bedding were removed and washed at least monthly. Her floors were cleaned daily and she would never have dreamed of having a dishwasher, she thought everything was cleaner if you washed it by hand in super hot water. Her garage floor was scrubbed on a weekly basis, with Ivory soap. It was our slip and slide and more fun than any plastic version could ever be.

And then someone broke into their home and took from us many of those heirlooms. Clothes and books were tossed aside in search of more marketable possessions of antiques, quilts, and fine china. Yes, my grandparents had passed away a couple of years ago, but their home was still a place my family treasured as they had left it. A place where you could unfold my grandmother’s favorite sweater and be transferred back by the whiff of her perfume. A place where you could sit in my grandfather’s rocking chair and expect any minute for him to come home and joke about you being in his chair. A place where you could glance around and still find the sunburst clock hanging over her fireplace as it had since the early 70’s.

And thankfully, the things tossed aside by these intruders were many of the things I treasure the most. Especially her favorite sweater and her biscuit pan worn from many years of use.

But there is one family heirloom that can never be taken away… the love they showed each of us.

10 comments on “Family Heirlooms and Thugs”

  1. oh lawd Robyn, this just makes me tear up; love the memories, hate the thieves who broke in and took things, love that you still have the memories you cherish . . . and that biscuit pan.

    Aren’t smells/scents a funny thing? They transport us back to places and times we’d thought long forgotten – I have a sweater from my grandmother that’s been zipped up in a clothing bag. She’s been gone for about 15 years but every once in a while, I unzip that bag, pull out the sweater and breathe in that familiar scent – makes me smile remembering her lovely spirit. Thanks for sharing this – I really needed it today.

  2. Robyn, it breaks my heart to think of someone disturbing this place that holds so many memories for you. You’re right that the most precious heirlooms are the ones that you hold onto in your heart.

  3. What a heartbreaking thing to happen, Robyn! I simply cannot and never will understand the mentality of people who think it’s okay to take/disturb/disregard what doesn’t belong to them.

    I understand your attachment to the less “valuable” things, though. I have a few of those kinds of things from aunts, uncles and grandparents. An old flat iron, an aluminum tea kettle and even a cracked tea cup. They’d mean nothing to anyone else, but they are treasures that hold wonderful memories for me.

  4. So sorry that this happened to you and your family. It seems as if nothing is safe any more and it doesn’t matter where you live either.

  5. So sweet Robyn. I’m heartbroken for what your family lost but am blessed by your words of what is really most important. Thanks!

  6. Can’t people understand that they need to work hard and acquire their own possessions, not steal from others. I am glad you have the bisquit pan and thank you for sharing

  7. Sweetie, I know your pain, but I can’t believe that home went without robbery for so long. In the poor neck of the woods I come from, they don’t let you get cold before those vultures go and pick what they want. My mom had died on a Tuesday I believe, I went to the house, but forgot to chain up everything, and all the guns were taken. She had put them in a different part of the house, and I couldn’t find them quickly. The renters in that were basically squatting in her rental house even called the sheriffs office and said me and my sister were robbers, so the sheriff made US leave and intimidated us, the gall. Then they went and took what they wanted. Then the dirty word detective says we can’t search their house, we have no evidence, I said, why don’t you come finger print the house, the Dad was a con, they didn’t have the time, not on their priority, and since the guns were antique, they said there was no way I could accurately identify them, no numbers. I changed the locks and came back in a few days and someone else had came through the window and taken a huge amount, things were all shuffled around. Police could care less again.
    Your not alone Robin, people are vicious and apparently we have to depend only on ourselves for protection, police have been absolutely useless in my experience, and yes my Dad was a cop, so I can say bad stuff, LOL

  8. You heart really shows here! GREG

  9. Holy cow I need a Kleenex! I’m glad you were spared some important things, most of all their precious memory 🙂

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