All of us — both men and women — have treasures we keep. They can be called keepsakes, mementos, heirlooms, memorabilia, tokens of remembrance, even souvenirs — most any object of a remembrance one acquires for the memories associated with it. I call them treasures.
Many of my own treasures are in the form of writings on cards. I have a large waste basket full of anniversary, birthday, and holiday cards my husband and I gave each other these 33 years. Before we moved, we reread them and had our second laugh over the funny ones.
From my daughter, Kim, I still have the essay she wrote, at about 13 years old, about her “absent minded mother.” Later in life, after she lost her husband, Dale, she wrote a beautiful thank you note to my husband and myself. I cherish both. Although it may not be in writing, it was still made by hand. Tina is the crafty one of my girls. I have a dream catcher made with hanging peacock feathers. Mande had often told me she liked the way my husband I do things in our marriage. One day, while attending college, she wrote an essay “Family Interaction,” about my husband and myself.
In order to remember our childhood homes, my husband and I had a painting done of the Monterey farmhouse I was born in, and the home he lived in, from baby on up, in Hazleton.
In our guest room, I keep peacock feathers in a vase since Mom raised peacocks on our family farm. For my father, I have a Prince Albert tobacco can. He made his own cigarettes until he had a stroke in his early 60s, when he quit smoking.
My husband has treasures from his family as well. A chicken cup (for soft boiled egg), from his Mom’s kitchen, now sits in our kitchen. Harry also treasures things from his father. A photo of his father’s Penn State fraternity (the old one) and the new one, which Harry lived in during college days, hangs in his study.
Another item I’ve had for years is from one of Dorothy’s parties. Each of the sisters made our own hand print on six place mat size material and signed our name under the print. Mine hangs on the wall of my study.
I have a sister-in-law, Millie (widow of my brother, David), whose six girls and herself have a plethora of handmade treasures they’ve given to each family member.
One such gift was given by Elizabeth to her parents on their 50th wedding anniversary, as well as, to each sibling. It was a photo of their parents’ hands on their wedding day and one taken of their hands in their 70s.
Another gift given to David on Father’s Day was from the children and grandchildren. Since David loved his bib overalls both children and grandchildren had a photo of themselves in bib overalls. They were placed in an album, with a total of 50 reasons, written by the children and grandchildren, why “David was the best in the world!”
One album, from all the daughters, was presented to Millie for her birthday. There were photos amid 70 reasons why they were glad she was their mother. I know she’s happy they are her daughter’s too!
Prior to the first Christmas of David’s death, Elizabeth used David’s flannel shirts and overalls to make a pillow for her mother and siblings. The grandchildren received a frame with fabric from David’s shirt glued on the wood. Enclosed was a picture of their grandfather.
Their daughter, Carole, has a great memento for each of her four children. When they were babies, she made them hand and foot prints, framed them, and hung them in their bedroom.
When I started this story I couldn’t think of more than two treasures I’ve kept, so I asked others about their treasures in order to fill the pages. And then, one by one, my own crept back in my mind. I realized, indeed, I have a “trove full” of treasures!