Please excuse me as I have had yet another epiphany of sorts. I know that I tend to use that word a lot and so actually looked it up because I wanted to make sure that I was using it correctly today and I was. The definition I was looking for was: A moment of sudden revelation or insight.
I spent the afternoon with my mother in law the other day. She is in a place in her life of wanting to minimize her “stuff” and is getting rid of a ton of “treasures” she has accumulated throughout her lifetime. It has come at an opportune time for me because I have just begun to learn about antiques and vintage items through my daughter who has recently introduced milk glass and bone china to me because the next show I am in called, Remnants. So it has been a kind of rushed course in all things vintage, shabby chic and collectible.
In the end, it wasn’t just about picking up boxes. Or about just going through “stuff” but more about reliving with my mother in law the history behind each piece.
It seems as if I am always feeling pinched for time. (In my last post, I talked about how I feel as if time is rushing by.) But this particular afternoon I stopped to really listen to all the stories attached to each thing. Even the remnants of material had stories of what she made from them and where she purchased them (several things in Europe.) I could envision her as a young wife and mother choosing these things for her perfect home. And because she invested a lot of time and money in these items I have had to research them all. There was one vintage piece that is worth well over $500.00 that I might have put a $40 price on! So I guess I have to really slow way down and educate myself a lot more than I figured. And have since realized that I may have to take even more time than I figured on and find markets other than a remnants show for some of her more valuable treasures!
Ever since I met her, I could see that she painstakingly cared for everything. Her family, her home, all sooo cared for by her. Though… When I was younger I reluctantly am ashamed to say that I may have judged her a little for having or “needing” all the “finer things.” But as I’ve grown to know her, I have grown to love her and realize that all she has ever wanted is the best, not for herself necessarily but for her loved ones and suddenly on that day, I realized I was blessed enough to be one of them. All of her choices, whether in planning a meal, setting a table or planning a vacation has always been with us in mind. Wanting to create a special memory. And so as we sat through the remnants of her life, I realized that it’s not about the money, or the “stuff” it’s always just been about the love.
2 thoughts on “Remnants of love”
Love, love, love this post Diane. And you are so blessed to have such a loving mother-in-law.
My first mother-in-law became Mom to me. She and Dad kept in touch with me throughout the years even after the divorce from their oldest son. They continued to refer themselves as Mom and Dad to me. Dad passed away some years ago, and Mom, now 99 is in a care facility with various health issues. She told her younger son and daugther-in-law that she is ready to go and doesn’t want to live this way. That was a couple months ago. She lives in Florida and I went to see her a few weeks ago.
She doesn’t remember much, and she hallucinates – talks to people who are not there. But when I arrived, I said “Hi Mom” and she said “Hi!” I asked “Do you know who I am?” and she nodded yes.
I asked if she knew my name and she replied “Annie!” That is what she always called me.
A few times while I was there she would say “It’s too late!” but she couldn’t tell me what was too late.
She has been a blessing in my life and I love her dearly.
What a sweet daughter in law you are. Funny I remember I called you Annie once. I think maybe that name was just reserved for her! I think you corrected me. Smile.
Our relationship ( my mother in law’s & mine) was a little complicated in the beginning because I loved my first mother in law so much. But I think that I was just younger the first time around & more willing to reflect the Naomie & Ruth story. I’m definitely glad I’ve evolved & can appreciate my current mom in law now!