Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Left Behind Treasures

For those of you who don't know, we bought my parents' home after my dad remarried and wanted to move. My dad and his new wife, Betty, wanted everything new in their new house, and so we were left with pretty much a fully furnished home (as well as a whole bunch of odds and ends to go through in the backroom, garage and attic, but the benefits definitely outweighed the setbacks in the situation). We inherited couches, tables, chairs, shelves, a bed, and dressers, for which we were very grateful. Even though these amenities saved us a small fortune and were greatly appreciated, they are not my favorite left behind treasures. Everyday I am surrounded by small mementos that remind me of my mom and provide me with an instant smile and lift of my spirits.

  • The bathroom fountain:

My parents remodeled most of the house about a year before we purchased it. We all lived on one floor for a about six month worth of house work, which surely made for some interesting living conditions. Both bathrooms were totally made over with beautiful tile work. I love our bathrooms; they are the nicest rooms in our home. My mother once saw a wall fountain at a bagel shop that she fell in love with. She knew she wanted a wall fountain in her new designed upstairs bathroom. Initially, I thought the idea was tacky, but she insisted and with my older sister's help found this gem on Ebay. I now love it, and every time I look at it I am reminded of my mothers little eccentricities.

  • The entry wall ornament:
I saw these at Costco while we were living with my parents and fell in love with them. I so wanted to buy one for our future house, but couldn't justify the purchase. My mother was looking for a tapestry of some sort to hang on the entry wall. I told her I had seen the perfect thing, and took her to Costco to snatch one up. By the time Greg and I had the money to purchase our own, they were long gone. This is the only thing I actually requested that my father to leave behind. It reminds me of the fun shopping trips my mother and I would share. She was the ultimate shopping partner, always excited to find a good sale or an especially beautiful piece of merchandise and was always ready to spend money.

  • The garden turtle:
For those of you who have frequented our porch, you might have wondered why we have a ceramic garden animal to greet you. It certainly is not my regular style of decorating, but to me, it is one of the most dear ornaments of our home. My mother went through a phase long ago in which she fell in love with lawn animals. Every birthday and Mothers Day we would buy her one, and she eventually collected a small herd to gather on our front lawn. Over the years they have slowly disappeared, except this lone turtle. My nephew Trevor loved the turtle and it would often make its way into various rooms of our home, bringing outside dirt along for the ride. Even last week it had a little trip to the sidewalk kitty-corner to our home; I'm sure it's passage was provided by the small hands of a neighborhood child. How can you not crack a smile when greeted by the eyes of this little fellow?
  • Mother's journals:
Okay, so these weren't necessarily left behind by my father, rather they were predetermined to fall in my hands by my mother before she passed. My older sister inherited my mother's wedding ring, and my younger sister received her locket. I requested her journals. I have always loved the written word, and I knew from a fairly young age that my mother's journals would be the most precious gift I could receive as a memory of her life. I have been reading them slowly since she passed, at times when I feel I need her the most, treasuring each word, each story. She was an avid journal keeper when she was healthy, a time I don't remember as much as I would like to, and it has been an absolute pleasure for me to revisit the person she was before illness took a toll on her body. What a missionary she was! What an amazing gardener and how dedicated she was to canning her produce. How she loved her friends. How wholeheartedly she served all those around her. How she willingly sacrificed herself for the good of her family.

I feel so very blessed and privileged to be left with such wonderful mementos and memories of my dear mother.


Barb said...

I've been wondering what happened to all the wonderful little things of your mother's. I'm glad to know that they did not get thrown by the wayside and into some dumpster, or given to the DI for some stranger who did not know the precious memories behind them. Thanks for sharing.

mj said...

i loved this post. thank you for sharing some of your wonderful treasures.

Lisa said...

What a wonderful blessing that your mother kept journals. That is so awesome. What a great gift you have been given to have her very own words. This was a great post.
love ya