It’s not uncommon to find sentimental possessions after parents move on to their eternal life. When my husband and I camped earlier this month, and while preparing for our first dinner, I found the box of silverware that we always use. This set came from my parents, who used it at our cabin in Big Bear, CA back in the sixties and seventies. How funny that I can vividly remember using it in our rustic mountain get-away, even though I was very young. It’s amazing how some memories stay in our minds over the years.
Anyway, after arriving home, then in the midst of doing camping clean-up, it dawned on me that I didn’t want this set stashed away in the camping tub anymore – not to be seen or used until the next trip, which currently is unplanned. This set of black silverware suddenly held an abundance of sentimentality and tugged at my heart. I even broke down during that first night of camping after coming across this treasure, crying hard for several minutes. Oh, how my heart was hurting…Yes, I’m still grieving, but I’m also appreciating those vivid, loving memories.
Then I thought even deeper and had a good talk with my husband about how sturdy this set is to have lasted through about five decades! No, it’s not fancy, and black doesn’t match the interior of our home; however, it is neutral, versatile, and durable (as we now know). So, as much as I love to coordinate decorations, themes, and colors, I’m bending my own rules because this black silverware has become a vital component in our kitchen. Whenever we use it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we think of my parents, Mom’s excellent cooking, the conversations that flowed around the table, and family love and contentment that followed those delicious meals. It just goes to show that the simplest of treasures can hold the most significance.
Do you have a similar story to share about a simple treasure that means a lot to you? If so, I’d love to read it…
Lauren Scott 9.28.17
18 thoughts on “The Simplest of Treasures”
Memories flood back at the simplest thing. Even 16 years after my father’s passing I am still moved by some of the few things of his we have. Peace.
When sentimentality is involved, I have a feeling time is irrelevant. Sixteen years from now, I know I’ll feel the same as you do. Thanks, Andrew!
Wow, that would be a long commute between SFO and Big Bear? It’s a lovely place there. I enjoyed my visit. Yes there are treasures that just have to continue being part of our life.
You made me smile, Ian. Those were the days when we lived in Orange County, so Big Bear was less than a two-hour drive. 🙂 It is nice, and I miss it for my family memories, and also for early memories of when my husband and I began dating. As you said, some things, no matter how simple, can make a big impact on our hearts and lives. Thanks for stopping by!
Some things are meant to hold on, too dear Lauren. Love and hugs from across the creek. xo
They sure are, Francina, and they are what bring those memories to life, which then in turn warm our hearts forever. Love and hugs to you from across the creek! 💕
Sometimes ordinary things can be precious.
…and it makes sense to realize this when we experience loss in our lives.
Very heartwearming sis! XO DEBBIE
Thanks, Sis! xoxo
Lauren, this is a beautiful and tender post, written with such love of memories. The smallest of things can definitely hold so much of us, our family and friends…the memories intense. I have a few items from my grandparents which are so precious to me but look inconsequential to outsiders. You do right to bring this set in and use it daily…may the warmth of your reminiscings give you comfort and joy. ❤️
Thanks so much, Annika, and I’m glad you truly understand what it feels like to find what seem like inconsequential treasures that come to mean so much to us. This is a simple black, stainless steel set, yet the warm memories it evokes are many…I love using it now, and I also don’t care if it matches (usually, I would :)). It’s great that you have those items from your grandparents, too, to keep your memories alive. Thanks for sharing that part of your family. I appreciate your kind words and taking the time to comment, as well. ❤
Loving this story. Reminders of good times past are a treasure. Cutlery is such a tactile part of our lives, it involves daily intimate contact. And they certainly don’t make it like they used to!
Thanks, Peter, for words so true, and now I have proof that they don’t make it like they used to! That made me smile.
The retention of our departed loved ones’ belongings are treasured not for their cosmetic appearance or functional purpose, rather, the powerful association that triggers deeply emotional sentiment of the very occasions during which they were used.
My most treasured of mom and dad’s belongings, for which I retained as one who more closely related to the arts, are two large watercolor paintings that were prominently displayed in their living room over the primary couch that mom and dad so often shared together. They would travel every year from Canada down into Washington, Oregon, Colorado, California, and Arizona, primarily, on their two trips south each year to escape unfavorable winter conditions and sometimes just to get away period.
Mom and dad were quiet, soft-spoken individuals, seemingly so well-suited in compliment to each other’s personalities and tastes in home decor. Dad was an architect and designed our homes, going so far as to measure recessed wall areas to exactly fit the furniture set in permanent standing within their narrow enclaves. It was mom who most often influenced the treasures that bestowed shelves, closed displays behind spotlight-illuminated glass casings, polished ardently to a crystal clear sheen.
Those two watercolor paintings were exquisite renderings, not of some faraway transborder geography but a world-renowned summer and autumn destiny up-island from home. They were painted by a well-known local artist and richly deserving of all the praise and fine memories rekindled of days spent wandering the expansive, wave-swept sands of Tofino. It was a place of romance for the young and mature of age alike, a place to dim the lights and allow the shadow-cast magic of waxen candles to splay silhouettes about the rustic cabins’ walls and ceiling for endless hours.
As with the memory of countless family conversations at the dinner table, tearful memories cast a warmth to the heart of our most treasured moments together nestled in for an evening of quiet, thoughtful reflection on days gone by, the enchantment of the powerful waves rushing to the shoreline and bouncing off a rugged backdrop of mystic coves and the soft, eerie cry of the seagulls in flight, cloaked in the darkness of the night.
Emotions run high as I write this recall and I truly thank you for that, Lauren. No matter how painful the loss, I always turn my thoughts to moments like these when life was quite literally all about togetherness with the very people that would forever mean the most. They were material possessions, but much more than that, and perhaps unconsciously so, they would come to be artifacts meant to trigger the sights, sounds, fragrances and familial moments in time which would some day mean more than life itself.
Keepsakes are not always of the physical kind, yet most endearingly tangible all the same. No desire could ever consume heart and soul as those moments I/we will forever remember.
Heart to heart, Lauen. To the memories…
Lauren, my sincere apologies for misspelling your name in closing my comment here.
My wise old grandmother adopted me in December 1966 when I was 10. Her other three sons did not want her to do that, and when she died in 2003, they disinvited me to the funeral. Stupid me had no idea that attending a funeral required an invitation. Thus, I disowned that family by legally dropping my last name and taking my middle name as my last name. However, that also means that all I have to remember her by is one picture and a pair of long, sharp scissors. The scissors are from 1945 or so and have never been sharpened. I still use them whenever I really need a good pair of scissors to cut through something difficult.
How sad that it didn’t work out with her sons, but it sounds like she was a great lady. To have a pair of scissors as a memento is different, I would say, but still memorable. It’s also amazing that even though they haven’t been sharpened, they still work well. This silverware set doesn’t match, but it’s in really good shape considering how long my parents had it. It’s the simplest of things, right?
Thanks for sharing your story…