What We Value Most…

Whatever treasures we find from the past will always be priceless.
 Rusty and the dolls

Rusty and the dolls

Today I received a text from my cousin asking if I wanted a tapestry I had given his mom, my aunt. She passed several months ago, and now he was cleaning out the house.

“Yes!” I exclaimed. “I would love to have it! Do you have anything else, maybe something of my dad’s?”

In a few minutes, I received another text.

“I have your father’s jacket. Somehow it ended up here.”

My father passed when I was 19 years old in the most dubious of ways. He was found in a hotel room, liquor and pill bottles everywhere. Yet I wasn’t surprised. He had lived a troubled life. His belongings were scant but important — a watch, a photo or two, a note he had written his mother, and a very special set of matches with his picture on the flap. He had gotten it at a restaurant in Chicago back in the 50’s. Those have always been cherished possessions, and they carry his energy. So the jacket my cousin found is a true treasure!

When my mother passed only a few years later, my oldest sister took care of the estate. She found some old photos — ones from our childhood — and indicated they were old and not worth anything.

“I’m throwing them away,” she declared.

“No!” I protested loudly. “I want them. I’ll take them.” I couldn’t imagine throwing precious memories away.

I saw her throw a notebook of my mother’s away. When she wasn’t looking, I searched through the trash and found it. It contained writings my mother had done during the last year of her life. All her thoughts were in that notebook in her handwriting. I clutched it to my chest and stashed it in the car.

When my middle sister passed at 50 years old, I felt worn out by all the losses. Her death was a true shock, one that seemed so tragic. She had a terrible car accident; she had been drinking and driving. I was beyond heartbroken. After her funeral, I stopped by her house. On the wall was a woven Chinese hat my mother had always worn while gardening. In a closet, a stuffed dog named Rusty and two filthy dolls tumbled out. My sister and I had played with all three when growing up. I scooped them up, grabbed the hat from the wall, and took them home.

At some point in our lives everything becomes special.

Many years have passed, but the memories contained in these sacred treasures are still very much alive, very present. Oh, the stories they could tell! I wouldn’t trade them for anything — the photos, the watch, the writings showing me who they were on an inner level, the Chinese hat, and the dolls and Rusty, who grace my library today. It’s the little things that matter. At some point in our lives everything becomes special. Whatever we touch carries our energy. Whatever we give from our heart will always be remembered. Whatever treasures we find from the past will always be priceless.

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