Monday, January 25, 2010

How To Find Me When I'm Gone

The confluence of two random, recent events has caused this post today. Last night, as I was chopping veggies for home made chicken pot-pie, I was thinking about how much we just spent to have some of my jewelry appraised for insurance purposes. Yikes. It really costs a lot to find out how much you should spend to have it covered by insurance. Which also costs a lot! A real Catch-22.

By now you know I was a crow in my last life...if it's sparkly and bright, I love it. My jewelry is more important when considering what to wear than my clothes. It's not just because I weigh more than I'd like and so don't like clothes much. I've always been all about the jewelry.

So, I'm very lucky that over time I've acquired some wonderful, beautiful pieces. I love them very much, and I've actually taken a great deal of time considering who I want to leave them to when I'm gone. Some token of my affection so that someone I love will remember me when I'm no longer here with them.

Then while I was musing, I happened to look down at my trusty cutting board which has been in my kitchen since 1979. The first Michael and I bought it with some wedding money shortly after we set up our first home. I really examined it closely; I've used it pretty much every day. And, it struck me, that I hope someone would want to have my old board to remember me by because I've put a lot of love into my meals and preparations. And if I had to consider the energy invested....

...My cutting board has more of me in it than my jewelry.

I started hoping that someone would want my wooden utensils too, just as I wanted my grandmother's wooden spoon and a few of her pasta bowls. When I serve food in them, it feels as if I am part of a continuous connecting thread of love and care. But, without someone who cares about them after I'm gone, those vessels become, simply, old bowls.

Would anyone know how special my very first Scottie figurine is and be able to identify it as the genesis of my beloved collection? Would someone want that little piece of wood I've had for my entire life? The one I used to tie a piece of twine to and drag about telling everyone it was my dog. Would it hold the same value as my ruby ring might?

If someone really wanted a piece of me to hold close after I was gone, one of my bracelets would be a fine gift. But really, you'd find more of me in my Grandfather's eye glasses. I'm not sure how I ended up with them, but I love that they sit where I can see them and remember him. How he'd give me the change from his pocket when he saw me. How he smiled. How he wore a carnation on his lapel on the nights he was in our family restaurant. How the family nick named him "Scrappy," because he had an explosive, short-lived temper. What a character!

Most certainly I'd be found in my gorgeous diamond ring, the one that Michael surprised me with when he asked me to marry him. But if you look closely for remembering me as a little girl...

...you'd want my father's watch. Because when I need to feel my Dad, I put his watch on and wind it up and listen to it tick.

If you want to remember how I sounded when I wrote, you could always read the cards, letters or blogs...

...but if you want to feel me as I wrote, you'd want to have my favorite fountain pen...the one that I had made for me.

Yes, I can leave behind my jewelry and I will because it's such an important part of how people see me and will remember me with fondness. But, if you want to feel me after I'm gone, you'd have to look in more mundane places and objects. Places that would be easily overlooked as they sat in plain sight.

I am in all the small, seemingly unimportant things as you walk through my space. Like most people, if you want to know us and remember us, don't look for the grand things. Look to find us in the small defining details of life.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Hopes To Be Remembered

24 comments:

Tery said...

You are an amazing writer, an inspiration, and share with us such wisdom and love!

I enjoyed this post/story very much.

Tery (Dreamwriter)

Diva Kreszl said...

what an insightful post...I dare say that the truest sense of who we are is indeed tied up in the minutia of our lives. I often wonder why I save the things I do certain that in a hundred years no one will understand their importance to me.

Eva Gallant said...

Now you have me thinking about what my kids would want of mine. My oldes son would want my cookbooks, I'm sure.

Alix said...

I'll take your gloves please. So when I put them on, I will be able to write as if your hands are in them.

Lovely post honey.

Eileen said...

I know you'd be tempted to leave me a dog ... but ... something purple please!

The post was full of love and appreciation and respect for the important things left when we leave for the next attraction.

Those decisions are more niggly than we think ... and the reason there are still boxes of all the undecided pieces of CDM's life up in the attic.

The one piece that I would never part with is the snuggly fleece hoody that, when he put it on, was the signal that he was leaving all his cares and woes for a spell to really relax. He didn't get enough of those times. An insurance estimate could never give it the value it deserves!

beth said...

amen....

ps...did you tell me which photo and a size ? my mind is filled with teenage gunk at the moment....

Joanna Jenkins said...

Okay, you and I really are soul sisters! I feel the exact same way. And my home is filled with cutting boards, wooden spoons, casserole dishes, reading glasses, a side table, simple paintings, sewing machine, pin cushion, and small cherished pieces of jewelry from loved ones who have passed them on to me-- All are things from the PERSON, not the "pocketbook" so to speak.

My Will is written out and includes many of these items and who they are being passed on to and the history behind them. I hope they cherish them as much as I do.

This is a fantastic and heart-felt post. Thank you.

xo

Joanna Jenkins said...

PS I KNEW you loved jewelry when I saw the pics of you painting Livy's room. You were beautifully accessorized!

xo

Linda said...

Loved this one! I have always thought about what I would run into a burning house house to rescue (after people and pets were safe), and I think you might have your list here!

I'm Grace said...

Your post is so insightful and wonderful, I really enjoyed reading it.
For reasons unknown, I have been giving sentimental items to the people I think would love and appreciate them the most. Also I have been giving my kids their childhood memorabilia. All of my best memories are in my heart and I don't need so much physical stuff anymore. I think it is just part of growing older.

jkc said...

Loved this post, Holly!

cinner said...

Holly, this is a beautiful post, and I so agree with you, we are so much more than our jewelry. I love all the things you treasure, I have felt a lot about this since my Dad has passed on and that is why I try to do nice things now. trust me my friend you will be remembered.

Ribbon said...

Hello Holly,
I like the way you have expressed your ponderings on this topic.

Insurance is a strange thing.
Your jewels only true value is the belonging to you... priceless!

best wishes
Ribbon

Ribbon said...

ps...
when I say true value... i mean in the eyes on your loved ones.

x

joyce said...

You are so right, when I want something to remember my loved ones by, I want it to be something they used.I love my grandma's ring & watch, but only because she wore it every day. My mom has the plastic containers that the senior's home her parents lived in used to deliver their meals 3x a day. That means so much more than an expensive piece of jewellry locked up all the time.
I had no idea you & michael had been together so long, you make it sound like something fairly new. And feeling that newness all the time is special.

Big Girl Bombshell said...

Yes, that is so true. I have scraps of my grandma's material pile. I have her hope chest that her father hand-built, and a silver bracelet with her name on it. My most treasured is the hope chest. The plain box that held all her dreams! Thanks Holly, I have been missing her a lot lately, actually wore her bracelet last week. I always miss her when things are good!
My Mom has a LOT of jewelry but what I have always wanted is her meat grinder.
Those small details are MEMORIES! That is what we need to pass on.

Life With Dogs said...

That certainly rings true, very astute.

Does this mean I'll be remembered by dog hair, empty beer cans and fridge magnets?

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...

Holly,

This is a wonderful post and I feel exactly the same as you. I love holding my great-grandfathers magnifying glass in my hand because I can feel his presence. I love that I live in my ancestral home and that sometimes "they" play tricks on me. And when I go to auctions, sometimes I will pick up something and just feel the mourning or the love that the original owner felt. We are some of the lucky ones in life - we love what other people loved.

xo
Lynn

Donna said...

I enjoyed this post for I have already made my list....when my dear mother-in-law was called home she left such an organized list of items that she left for each of her children, it inspired me so that days later, I walked around my house and made my own list....I add to it all the time. Carley gets my "nun" collection.

Desert Mermaid said...

synchronicity is so weird. My oldest just asked me two nights what I want him to remember about me when I die ... it was all about character traits & things he and I did together ... things I started with him (trying a new restaurant every Wednesday) that I want him to carry on ... and oddly, although I inherited, & wear, a gorgeous emerald ring from my sister-in-law (Ciera's mom) when she died, it's her sewing basket filled with beads and thread and sparklies that FILLS me with her presence and her memories!

TechnoBabe said...

I so like your thinking about the things you use regularly and the time and love accumulated in the items. Who wouldn't want the wooden spoons or bowls you use???? Probably anyone who knows you has seen you with them. You write so well, there must be some journals or notes or something besides your blog that you would pass along to loved ones.

tattytiara said...

Your treasures will be treasured. I don't cook and don't want to learn, and when faced with the task of sorting through all my mother's things and deciding what to keep my first decision was that the cookbooks would go - that was easy.

I thought.

Until it came time to let them go, and every memory of my mother standing over them while working hard to feed us all the best meals she could prepare came flooding back. And I still have them. And I probably always will.

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

We have my hubbie´s grandfather´s wooden cutboard and the best thing is that it is still in use gathering memories as we use it regularly like yesterday for a dinner with friends (http://keepitsimplemakeitgreat.blogspot.com/2010/01/what-do-you-wish-to-awaken.html )

Chef Green said...

This is so very beautiful! I got teary several times. Hats off to you, writer.

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