He said while the other kids were taking things, he put these aside especially for me since he remembered that I liked dolls. The first one is a Sonja Henie doll that my grandmother got when she was around five years old. Like my grandma, she never played with her. She kept her in a display case away from dust and damage. She is gorgeous and in perfect condition. My mom said even she never saw her. It's like my grandma hid her. My grandma also included a newspaper with an article about the worth of the doll. That's the thing about my grandma that I didn't know. She documented everything. I mean, EVERYTHING. I found out that she had kept newspapers from major historical events and my stupid uncle didn't think anything of it and burned them. Newspapers of when JFK was killed. Newspapers featuring Marilyn Monroe's death and things of that sort. I was livid, but I loved knowing that my grandma was smart enough to save those things. Then I found things she documented that was just plain OCD. Cute...but OCD. She had a notebook where she kept record of all of her VHS tapes. Hundreds and hundreds of tapes in alphabetical order, with reviews, and cross-referenced with actors and other movies they were in. It was crazy. She had highlighted sections, stars drawn, and things broken into categories. I remember as a kid if you didn't put a tape up in the right spot, she would get on to you. I remember if you touched something breakable, she would get on to you. I thought maybe she never really "liked" kids and maybe she never was one herself. I loved being able to go through her things with my Mom though, because I feel like I got to know the "real her". I got teary-eyed finding out just how organized she was and found myself thanking her in my head. If she wouldn't have recorded what I'm about to show you, then I would have missed out on all of the true meanings and stories of these items.
This was her jewelry box full of "costume jewelry". My aunts and uncles became jerks when it came time to divide up her belongings. My mom said they were grabbing things they knew was expensive or worth something. Fighting over their wedding china or engagement/wedding rings. It was disgusting hearing about how my Mom's siblings were acting and I can tell she was hurt by it too. The funny thing is, this was all of the stuff left for my Mom to get and I think we got the best part.
What we got was priceless.
This is a brooch, as you can see, that was given to my grandma from her Dad in the 50's. I imagine her pinning this to her prom dress. I imagine her keeping this as a token of how much her Dad loved her.
This one truly broke my heart--but in the best way. I cry every time I look at this. It says, "Dwight(my grandpa) bought this birth stone ring for my 17th B'day. Shifin? Jewelry. Payment book in my album". I asked my mom about this pretty ring and the story about it. I had no idea my grandma knew my grandpa when she was just seventeen! My mom told me that my grandparents were in love as teens and my grandma's parents didn't want them to be together. They sent her up North, to another school I think, to get her away from my grandpa. She said my grandpa drove all the way across the country for her and told them he would marry her. My grandma has the receipt showing how he had to make payments on this ring. I can feel their love. Now I know how much they loved each other and I feel so wrong for ever thinking otherwise. They were each other's first loves. My grandpa wanted no one else.
I've realized now how timeless love really is and now I understand why it was so hard for him to let her go. I plan on writing my grandpa a letter and telling him how much it meant to me to find these things. It's hard to explain in words just how special this is to me.
This says, "1954-Sterling silver friendship ring from Rose Kolnor". Once again, I loved this. I love seeing my grandmother's handwriting on everything. I love noticing how similar it is to my Mother's. I love how well she preserved everything and I love that she dated everything. My mom told me that she had heard her talk about Rose before and how she was her childhood best friend. I wonder what her family is like? I think my Mom said she's passed away too. I wonder if her family has precious tokens to look at like this. I wonder if they knew how great of a friend she really was.
This was a coin ring that was in the jewelry box. Sadly, my Mom didn't know any information about it and there wasn't anything with it. I'll have to leave it up to my imagination.
These are two wooden figurines that on the bottom say, "Jan. 19, 1960-From: John Whaley, Sent from Germany." My mom said he was my Grandpa's friend who was in the military and sent those back when he was stationed. Once again, I wonder what happened to him and his family.
This was a handmade wooden pin that says "My Uncle Armond made me 1949". She was a kid at the time and this simple wooden pin meant enough for her to keep. She didn't let it get thrown around her jewelry box and broken, like I have with so many things. She was careful and safe. She knew she would value this later in life.
This is another one of those "break my heart in a good way" items. "1955 From Dwight". My grandpa gave my grandma these two porcelain figurines sitting on a bench. On the back of the bench, is "I LOVE YOU" handwritten in marker. HANDWRITTEN.
This was a cookie jar that my Mom said was inside of their home her whole life. On the bottom it says, "Bought for us before we got married-1955". I could tell how happy my Mom was that she got this. Every time I would touch it, she would worry I was going to drop it and break it. I love that my grandma found any way to put a note on it. I love that the tape is still stuck on there.
When I stepped into my old room and found it being used as "storage", I had no idea what true value it was storing. I had no idea that I would open those Dole banana boxes and find such special things wrapped in newspaper. I wasn't expecting to see jade rings my grandpa used to sell at his flea market booth. Seeing those brought me back to when he would take us with him. He sold knives and novelty joke items. Popper fireworks, fake dog poop, can-o-worm gags, etc. Everything I found that day brought me back to a different time and place.
Another important and huge detail about my grandma was how much she loved owls. At one point, we counted over 250 owls in her house. I'm surprised it didn't drive my grandpa crazy(or maybe it did?). Maybe he didn't mind one bit because it was what she loved and wanted. I find myself getting annoyed at the "owl trend" that is everywhere right now. Owls are in style and everyone is collecting them. When it first started, I wanted nothing to do with it. It reminded me of my grandma and just made me have a weird feeling. People started giving my Mom owl things as gifts, I think, as a way to remind her of my grandma and make her feel "close" to her. I've now gotten used to the owl trend and don't really mind it, because it reminds me of my grandma. And now the feeling isn't "weird". It's happy. It's a great feeling and I'm glad that I got to take home some owls to add to my own house. My mom kept most of the things, especially the jewelry and breakable items because she's worried my animals might break them. I don't mind though, because I think right now it's important for her to have this stuff. I'm grateful for what I got and all of it isn't even shown in this post. On another day, I'll share the other things I got this day.
The flower and birds were once hanging in her bathroom and I remember seeing them as a kid every time I would go in there. I love that now I see them every time I go into my bedroom.
Until then, I wanted to share with you just some of the things I hung in my house that now remind me of that wonderful day where I really got to know my grandma. That day where I bonded with my Mom in a way I never have. The day when I found out how timeless and real love truly is.
[click on image to make larger]