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.