Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Treasures of the Heart . . .
A bit later on this month we are having an activity in our Relief Society for the ladies which we have entitled Treasures of the Heart. We hope that it will be a fun evening for everyone, fingers crossed! We've asked each sister that attends to bring with them a family heirloom/treasure of the heart to share with the rest of us, and of course there will be a craft to share as well as some Valentine themed refreshments!
It has gotten me thinking about Treasures of the Heart though . . . and just what my own Treasures of the Heart might be. I don't have anything much in the way of family Heirlooms . . . with a father who was in the Air-force and an ex husband who was also in the Armed Forces, we moved around so much that we never held on to much of anything really. We dragged our home around with us like a turtle carrying a shell on it's back . . . and so there was not a lot of room for sentimentality. The few things I did have were lost or destroyed through the years.
One thing that I had was a silver wrist watch which had belonged to my Great Uncle John's daughter Marie. Apparently when I was a little girl I reminded him of her and he was especially fond of me. I know this to be true because I have lots of lovely memories of visiting with him in the house that he lived in a town called Lawrencetown, which is in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. I was only a little girl, but I used to love to go and sit with him and listen to his stories about the Boer War he had fought in and other stories. He gave me humbugs to suck on.
I continued to visit him right on up to his death when I was about 15 years old. He had always sent me small gifts through the years . . . perhaps a pretty handkerchief . . . once a greeting card that was a record that you could actually play on a record player. In his will he left me this beautiful wrist watch. I loved it and wore it often. I kept it in my night table next to our bed after I got married. I did not have a jewelry box. One night a babysitter we had allowed my eldest son to sleep in our bed, presumably to get him to go to sleep and he went into my night table and broke the watch irreparably. The crystal glass covering over the face was cracked and smashed and the hands were broken off . . . I was heart broken. It wasn't his fault . . . he was only a curious little boy, although he was punished for breaking it. I did keep the broken bits for years and years, hoping one day to be able to repair it, but alas . . . on one of our moves it disappeared along with my Great Grandmother's white beaded necklace.
When I was four years old we lived with my Maternal Grandparents for a number of months after our return from Germany. They, too, lived in Lawrencetown in a large white house with a wrap around veranda out front. My father was out West securing a home for us where he had been posted to in Manitoba and while we were waiting we lived with my grandparents. There was my mother, (who was at that time pregnant with my brother) my younger sister and myself. Also in the house besides us and my grandparents, there was Ronnie (a foster child my Grandmother had had living with her since he was a baby who was about 12 then) my dear Aunt Freda and her husband Harold, their little boy Danny who was my sister's age, and my mother's maternal Grandmother, Great Grammy Best. (She would have been Uncle John's sister in law!)
She was getting quite elderly by that time and was suffering from Dementia. Mom says that she often asked her who those little girls belonged to and wasn't it about time their mother came to pick them up and take them home! I can remember sneaking into her bedroom quite often. It was up at the top of the stairs at the back of the house and I can remember tip toeing into her room and looking at all the things on top of her dresser. They were so pretty. Sometimes I would carefully stroke the ones I could reach with my fingers. I remember going into her room when she was dying and being yelled at for going in. I had no idea . . . anyways after she died I was given this white beaded necklace that belonged to her. I suspect that the beads were made of ivory as they were set into silver . . . like jewels and the whole necklace together looked like a suspended tiara, hanging upside down, very intricate. That disappeared on one of our moves.
Another thing that I had was a small bracelet which had been my Paternal Grandmother's, which consisted of a chain of small pearls between gold links, with an engraved name plate on it, saying simply . . . Alice . . . in the most beautiful writing. I was my grandmother's first grandchild and her namesake, Marie Alice and so it had been given to me when I was very young. That, too . . . disappeared during my divorce. I hate to think about what might have happened to it and my heart aches at the thought.
So many treasures given in to my safe keeping . . . and . . . lost. As I say this I am reminded of that scripture in the bible which warns us about storing up treasures . . .
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where theives do not break through not steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
~Matthew 6: 19-21
As I read those words this morning I am reminded of what the true treasures of my heart are . . .
A father who loves my sister, brother and I with all of his heart and who provided a childhood for us in which we were never cold, or hungry, or unloved. Who taught us how to laugh and how to cry and how to love.
A mother who loved us in much the same way and who cared for us diligently and with love, and who still does. I know that I am always in her prayers, as are my sister and my brother and I treasure both she and my father for the gifts that they have been and are to me.
For children who taught me how to be a mother . . . and who are good people and have become great parents and partners themselves . . . good mum's and dad's . . . loving, caring and kind.
For all of the happy times . . . and for all of the sad times, the laughter and the tears . . .
Grandchildren who make my heart smile and bring out tender feelings I never thought I had, they are like jewels in my crown . . .
Diamonds and pearls . . .
Sapphires and Rubies . . .
Amethyst and jade . . .
Precious jewels in my crown called contentment . . .
And this is love . . . which is the greatest gift of all . . .
Divided and shared . . . multiplied . . .
A treasure beyond . . . measure.
The true treasures of my heart.
Yesterday's Silver Lining . . . a visit with an old friend. You should always make the effort to spend some time with those who are alone and getting on in years. It matters not that you hear the same stories again and again . . . it matters only that they know you care.
A thought to carry with you through today . . .
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow-lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Cold Tea Gingerbread. Scrummo!