Sunday, July 13, 2008

What Matters Most...


I spent some time during my visit home helping to go through my grandma's things...cleaning out...discarding some things, packing other things carefully away. It is, at once, odd and exhilarating to have such unlimited access to the personal effects, gathered over a lifetime, of one you loved and love so deeply.

My grandmother was a not a fussy person. Useful won over fanciful every time. Outward appearances never meant as much as what laid beneath. What you did meant so much more than how you looked doing it. Plain and simple. Beauty in truth. Beauty in kindness. Beauty in hard work. Beauty in perseverance.

Nestled deep in her jewelry box, under tons of dated costume jewelry, I found this blue set of jewelry. Although not expensive or valuable, it still seemed so out of character in this jewelry box and for the grandma I so dearly miss. I questioned my mom, who smiled in nostalgic recognition. My grandmother wore this set, complete with screw on earrings to a New Year's Eve party in the early 1950's. Even after all these years my mom still remembers how beautiful my grandmother looked that evening. It was probably the only time she ever donned these sparkling gems.

I decided that I would like to keep the jewelry. I am not sure whether I will ever find an occasion to wear it...but it will be packed safely away in MY jewelry box for all the days of my life...and I will love it always. I will love it because it is something my grandmother once chose. Something she once loved. Something that she once wore as she danced happily in the arms of my grandfather. I will hold this jewelry near...and in doing so...keep my grandmother close to my heart as well. And that is priceless.

16 comments:

MississippiZen said...

What a beautiful post. Be sure to document that story for your daughter so that she will understand the significance. I can imagine your grandmother celebrating the new year in that jewelry ... she probably always remembered that night as well.

Denise C said...

Kate,
This is such a precious tribute to all that your sweet grandmother was to you! I just love this very special set of jewelry...and how wonderful that you know "What Event" she chose it for!
This post brought back memories of my Mamaw...she has sets of costume jewelry like this too....and loved to wear them on Sunday to church...with matching shoes and purse of course! *wink*!
Thanks for sharing these sweet memories!!!
Love,
Denise

Anna Grace`s Jie Jie said...

Such a sweet post!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Kate,

What a great post....your grandmother sounds like she was a wonderful person!

I love this jewelry set....how special...I am sure you will cherish it always and then pass it to Lia as a keepsake of her great grandmother!

Have a wonderful week!

Lisa

Jboo said...

So sweet! It is so nice to have something cherished to remember a loved relative by. I have some dishes of my Great Aunt's and everytime I use them I think of her and how sweet she was -- I'm so glad to have them. I'm sure the jewelry will keep your Grandmother's memory alive and you can pass it on to Lia and she will love having it too. Have a great week!

Janet

Heather said...

Kate - I LOVED this post - what tender memories and so sweet to share with Lia and her baby sister someday.

My maternal grandmother died in a fire and my paternal grandmother passed away and my grandfather married within a year giving everything to his new wife and now her family has taken everything that would have been passed along to myself and my nieces and daughters. (My brother and I were the only grandchildren)

You are blessed to have these beautiful keepsakes. The true value of an object is not in how much it cost, rather the deep, sentimental meaning behind the person who had it and whom it was passed to. (at least for me anyway:)

This blue set is positively gorgeous.

Heather

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister,
Grammy Nor would have loved reading that. I wonder if we can find any pictures of that New Years Eve. Perhaps our husbands should take us someplace "swanky" for New Years Eve 2009. You could wear the blue set, and I will wear the "pearls" that now live in my jewelry box. C

Kerry said...

Kate- a lovely post and tribute to your grandmother. Clearly she lived her life to the fullest and is dearly missed. You have a wonderful gift- your memories of her and her gems.

You made me refect on my own grandmothers- thank you.

Bridget said...

So sweet - I bet you will find somewhere to wear your Grandma's jewelry. What a sweet sentiment!

Jodee Leader said...

What a sweet post. I am so glad you were able to find this jewelry. It is just beautiful!

Sharon said...

That is so cool! Its a treasure hunt of the heart!! I am so happy for you to have found that beautiful set that will always mean so much. I love the way you wrote about it to.

ADELE said...

Okay, I was bawling by the end of this post. You have such a gift of writing what is on your heart and you have stirred the memories in my heart of my own dear grandmother. Judging by your description of your grandmother, my own grandmother could have been her twin. I have the best memories of my own sweet grandmother. I miss her dearly but she is sitting at the precious sweet of Jesus right now.
What a sweet tribute to your loved one. Gotta go get my Kleenex now. :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful memories it sounds, what about putting the pieces in a shadow box with a photo of your Grandmother and hanging it someplace special? just a thought~

Don and Lisa Osborn said...

Oh Kate, once again you wow me with your heartfelt words. I absolutely LOVED this tender, sweet post. I have witnessed people use the time to go through their grandparents' or parents' things as a time to make fun and belittle and it has always pained me.

I love that you chose this set and I know you will cherish and honor it and not make fun...I hope it will help you hang on to the memories of your beloved grandmother.

Love you and your sweet heart,
Lisa

Kellyann said...

You have such a way with words. I love your writings. You can tell how much and how deeply you loved your grandmother.

Erin said...

That was just so poignant. I hope I can be that kind of Grammy! I actually love that necklace. I think it would be sweet to take a photo of Lia wearing it!