Treasures From the Past

It’s been two years since my mom’s death. I’ve had a hard time going through some of her things. My second born daughter came to help me with her clothes which was indeed the biggest help ever. I had dealt with the household stuff but just couldn’t do the clothes.With my daughters help, we donated most of it to a local shop that sells at lower prices to needy people and all the proceeds from the sales goes back into our community. After that things kinda came to a stop. We’ve had various problems here, mostly health, so we haven’t been taking on any extra. That meant some of mom’s things went into boxes and into the closet. Several days ago I stood, heart in my throat, and feeling a little queasy, at the closet door, starring. Standing quite still, almost in a daze, I thought to myself, “It is time.” I slowly took a step, then another and finally was eye to eye with one of the boxes. As I reached for it something else caught my attention. Off to the right on a lower shelf was another, smaller box with the words “go through,” written on it. I had forgotten that it was there. Mom had given it to me just before she got ill and asked me to look through it one day when I had time. But when she got really ill, I had tucked it in the closet for safe keeping to get back to when she was better and we could look together. That didn’t happen. Now, here it was before me, drawing me to it as if it had some kind of spell on me. I pulled it off the shelf and stood silently with it in my arms, holding it close to me. It was the last thing mom had ever asked me to do.”Today,” I said, to no one there, “Today I will see what is in this box.”  I sat down on the side of the bed and slowly opened the top. Just stuff. Nothing special. A few cards, a box of penny’s, some hankies, and in the bottom, a cigar box. It was an old cigar box. The cigars only cost .05 cents. but it was the treasures inside that were amazing to me. Who had collected these. They didn’t really look like anything mom would have collected. It’s interesting to take a peek at what is  special to someone else. I found buttons. Old buttons. I love buttons myself and use them in various projects so I could see how these could be useful to me. Jewelry. Someone must have thought that the stones in it were valuable, because most of them were gone. The jewelry itself is interesting. Such tiny little pins, brooches, and an old purse. Now this was truly interesting. I would guess it to be from the early 1900’s. It is mesh, silver, and has a matching coin purse. Oh yes, this was the kind of things I like to find.  In it were three coins, five cent pieces, dated 1905 and two dated 1908. There were also two razors, wrapped in tissue and labeled in the bottom of the cigar box. One said Grampa Medley, and the other one was  marked Grandpa Smith. I have to figure this was my mom’s box. because it says, “Granmpa’s.” However, she always called my grammpa (her dad), “Daddy.” so  I also have to figure these belonged to my Great Grandfathers who, of course, I never knew.  Heck, I didn’t even know my Grandfathers let alone great grandfathers. My grandpa Smith (Mom’s dad) I saw two times in my whole life.We lived in Washington state and he in Texas. My Grandpa Medley was in Missouri and died before I was five as that was the year we made a trip to visit with them. So what a find I had here in my lap. Something that actually belong to someone in the family. A connection. Then there was my dad’s cribbage board along side the other things, I guess because it wouldn’t fit in that little cigar box. Neither would the shaving strap but it didn’t make any a difference as it was labeled Grampa Smith. This alone made it special to me. Some of the things in this little cigar box  must have been stored in there a long, long time. I may never know who had been the owner of most of the rest of the stuff. For now, I will put them on a display board and lock them in one of my glass cabinets for everyone to see. As I have time I will try to pin point from what time era they came and exactly who treasured them enough to save them away. Excitement is rippling just under my skin as I think about, what is now, my box of treasures. Most people would probably toss the whole works but me being the “collector” that I am, and always filled with curiosity, will try to search out the origin of each item. Maybe that is why mom entrusted this box to me. She knew, I would never be able to let it go without inquiring and finding out the background of the stuff inside.I’m not sure how to do that now with all the parents and grandparents gone but whether I find out or not, I am thankful to have it. I know at least part of it came from family. The rest, someone thought enough to hold on to it and therefore, so will I.   Thanks Mom. I love you. What ever these things meant to you, what ever secrets they might have,  I will hold each item dear to my heart, simply because you left them to me. Maybe one day, I will understand the meaning they had to you.



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