When my mom first moved out of her house into an "independent living" apartment, she got rid of most of her dishes and many of her other "nick nacks". I remember that she asked me if there was anything that I really wanted. It was really easy for me to come up with a very short list......
I wanted the tree plate that was at the lake. I wanted the grape plate that she used on "special occasions" and I wanted 4 of the glass "desert cups" that we always used. Needless to say, she was shocked by my list. Shocked because she could not imagine WHY I would want those particular items!
This is the tree plate. I always asked to use this plate at the lake. I just loved it. I found out from my mom (when she gave me the plate) that this was a supermarket give away from Council Oaks Grocery Store sometime in the 1950's. She couldn't believe that I wanted this old thing.
This is the grape plate. My mom couldn't really remember anything about where this even came from. She never really liked it, but it has sort of raised edge so things stay on the plate when you pass them. I especially remember deviled eggs being served on this plate. My mom pointed out that it was kind of chipped and really shouldn't be used anymore. I still wanted it.
The last things were these glass dishes. She laughed at me for wanting these. They actually were "jelly jars" - filled with jams and jelly purchased at the grocery store and then cleaned and kept for use. I remember many, many servings of tapioca pudding from these!
So yes, these items are still sitting in my china hutch. And I don't actually use them at all. But I like knowing that they are there. The radio conversation got me thinking, however, about the fact that soon enough I will be trying to get rid of all of MY stuff as we begin to downsize. I do own a set of "good china" but we never used it. It sits unused in the cabinet. I do have a few crystal pieces that do get used - on holidays or other family gatherings. But I am fairly certain that neither of my kids will have any interest in those items.... or the ones that I got from my mom. Times have really changed, that is for sure. Alas, I think most of my things will find their way to Goodwill!
It was really nice to take these items out of the hutch and hold them in my hands (to take these pictures)! Each one of them made me smile. There is something very powerful about holding an item in your hands, remembering the other hands that once held them. So unlike those callers on the radio this morning, my dishes have no monetary value. But the memories and the connections of these items to my mom and dad are very real and so very valuable. I remember all of the wonderful meals my mom cooked at the lake - in very primitive conditions. I think about those special holiday dinners when I would see that grape plate on the table covered with some special treat. And oh the special puddings and deserts those glasses held.
I am really sorry that I never used these special plates and dishes with my own kids. They will not have any memories of them and will most likely not want them. And that makes me sad. I also am trying to imagine if there is anything that they might want out of my very crowded hutch! After this past weekend of scrapbooking family events, I am extremely grateful that we have made it a priority to make lots of memories through activities! And I am also very thankful for all of those scrapbooks!
Even if my dishes and my mom's dishes end up in Goodwill some day, my children and grandchildren will have photographic reminders of many great family times. It might not be a plate they are holding in their hands, but it will be pictures of all of us having lots of fun together.
Yes, the value of legacy is much more than dollars and cents. There is really no way to put a price on memories. While my treasured legacy items may not be worth much money, they are filled with memories. And every page of my scrapbooks are also priceless!
Take some time to consider what legacy you are leaving. More than likely the best legacy you can leave does not have much monetary value. Think about the good times you have had with friends and family. Remember those special times - maybe just doing nothing but being together. Look at some pictures - or take some pictures! Slow down and talk and listen to those you love. Tell those younger than you about the "good old days". Create a legacy, one story at a time!
I love that the Bible is God's legacy to us. It is a love story filled with events that all connect together. One story leads to the next story and reveals a wonderful "rescue plan" (as my grandchildren love to call it) in Jesus. The faithfulness of God is shown to us over and over on each page of the book. That is a truly priceless legacy!
Jesus, thank you for my family - my mom and dad and siblings and thank you for Ken, and my kids and grandchildren. Holy Spirit help us to build a lasting legacy for our families, not of things but of stories and memories. Remind us all to stay grounded in your amazing legacy - the Bible. Amen