by Vera Grant AMMM Ireland 06.12.2021
I knelt on the floor surrounded by all my treasures, boxed up, sealed and unwanted. The labelling was finished, Waterford Crystal glasses, bowls and vases; Tyrone Crystal glasses and condiment sets, Blue Willow plates, serving dishes and fruit bowls, ornaments, coffee pots, milk jugs, sugar bowls. The list was endless and there were more boxes stacked high containing the silver service and the cutlery, all given to us by my mother-in-law on our silver Wedding anniversary.
She was passing on the family heirlooms, treasures as she called them and I remembered being overwhelmed by her generosity. Now here they were on their way to the Charity Shop. Towering over me I felt like they were laughing at me in the same way the children had laughed, scorning in their words, ‘ too easily broken, not practical, out of date, don’t want to have to clean them’ …every and any excuse as they backed out of the door, desperate to escape.
They had all left once the packing was done and I sat back, still on the floor looking at the boxes as if they didn’t belong to me. ‘Treasures,’ I said to myself, ‘heirlooms that nobody wants, what are they?’
They are only things but things that at one time I felt I needed to adorn my shelves, to be admired and to bolster my sense of worth. No longer now of any use to me in my new downsized house and no use to my children in their modern and minimalistic homes.
I had surprised myself in managing to clear the shelves without any tears or time wasted thinking how much more I could have used them and not kept them for special occasions and for visitors. Too late now for that I thought but not too late for me to change and to reassess what is a treasure. I laughed in thinking well at least you know it’s not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and neither is it the contents of those boxes.
It was an awakening to something that was better, something that money couldn’t buy and I included in this, the children who, good as they are, they have their own families, their own houses, the things that they value and they have their own lives to live.
The awakening to something better was not something new but something that had been nourished and had grown. That something has been my relationship with God. I am still in training but have found my treasure.