Wednesday, August 22

The Lovebirds

**Update: I put all of your names through Rafflecopter...and it threw back Arsoleen's name as the winner! Arsoleen, if you'll shoot me an email, I'll get an e-copy of my debut, What A Texas Girl Wants right over to you.**

I was absent from WordWranglers last week. Thanks so much Liz Flaherty and Cathy Shouse for filling in - I really appreciated it!

For those of you who don't know, we lost my grandmother last week, so we were on the road (travelling to Missouri, back home) and doing the family thing. You know what, though? It wasn't a sad, horrible, very bad thing. More a celebration of my grandmother's life, which I think is important. In addition to services, we grandkids were asked to come back to my grandmother's to grab a keepsake...something of hers that we wanted. My grandma was rather crafty and a few (not me, I was late to the party) immediately headed to the Frog Weapons (stuffed bean frogs, which were supposed to be decorative but which we used to pummel one another). My ever-resourceful grandmother would use scraps of fabric and milo seeds (my grandfather was a farmer) to create them...and when they would inevitably rip she would patch them back up. So some of them looked like a weird frog-shaped-checkerboard.

My older brother and I caught sight of one of her chatchkie shelves at the same time and headed over. On the shelf were some little figurines that she'd collected over the years, things no one would notice. My grandmother wasn't a rich woman. But there were two things on that shelf that we both knew we wanted: a green ceramic elephant and a set of lovebirds. Both belonged to her mother, our great-grandmother, Lillie. The green elephant is Trent's story, but I'll tell you mine. I've loved those lovebirds since...well as long as I can remember. That's their picture above.

I have no idea where Grandma Grice got them or who gave them to her, but I like to imagine it was Grandpa Grice, who's given name was David. I don't have a lot of memories of him because he died when I was small. I do remember he would hold Grandma Grice's hand. All the time. He'd reach across the sofa, pat her knee and hold her hand while they watched television. He'd hold her hand as they walked to the park. In church. I'd rearrange the birds every time we visited - one would wind up in the kitchen, while another went to rest on top of the window a/c unit. Another time they'd watch TV with me on the sofa..and Grandma Grice would follow me around the house, reminding me they were keepsakes, not toys. She never banned me from the shelf, she never yelled, just calmly followed my little girl self all over the house looking for her lovebirds.

So, for me, the lovebirds represent my great-grandparents, their love for one another and for the rest of the family. Do you have a family keepsake that is special to your heart? One lucky commenter will win a copy of my debut, What a Texas Girl Wants!

22 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss Kristi, but so glad you have that wonderful memory and keepsake to remind you of grandparents and great-grandparents.

    I lost both of my parents about 5 1/2 years ago and have several keepsakes and pictures...and I think of them daily.

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  2. Oh, that's so lovely. I have a few things of my grandma's. I love these, they are so pretty.

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  3. Keepsakes are important, I think, Christine and D'Ann...they keep that person 'with you' - even when they aren't! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Kristina, your poignant story made me cry, but then, TV commercials make me cry (you know, the one about the aging dog trying to navigate stairs?) Anyway, it was a lovely story, and while I don't have a keepsake tale to share, I do have a lovebird story. When we took a family vacation to Costa Rica in 2000, I was entranced by a poor little girl who stood outside our tour bus with a tiny lovebird on her finger. I was touched by the child and her attempt to garner a few coins with her bird, and when we returned home to Florida, we began fostering a child in Honduras and my husband surprised me with a lovebird for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, this bird took chunks out of our fingers, and we exchanged him for a sweet cockatiel. Romeo, the cockatiel, has now been an integral part of our family for 12 years. That was a round about way to say that your adorable ceramic lovebirds are safer than the real thing. LOL.

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    1. Aw, I love that! We sponsor a young boy in Peru. Love getting letters and pictures from him.

      Birds can be...tough...glad you found one that fits your family (and leaves your fingers alone)!!

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  5. I do, but they're not from my family but from my husbands. His mother passed away about 5 years ago and she made a point to tell me she wanted me to have all her China cups that her son's brought home from overseas while they were in the service. There is 6 in all--all different--all very unique. When I look at them, I think of her.

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    1. I love that, Jerri, what a wonderful way to honor and remember your mother-in-law!!

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  6. I have six small spoons from a grandmother. They're not sterling silver. They're knock-offs of the real thing--apostle's spoons, they were called. Sold in sets of twelve and too little to be of much practical use, they were a prized possession of my grandmother's, I think because she really didn't have much that wasn't practical. These were a luxury to her. I loved them as a child because they were little and I could play tea with them. Now I love them because they remind me of her. Like your lovebirds, Kristina.

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    1. Those little spoons! There is probably a horde of them somewhere in my grandmother's house... THanks for sharing, Peggy!

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  7. Kristi--that's a great story. My parents were like that too, always holding hands and affectionate. That's one of things my mom misses the most about losing my dad.

    Now, onto my sentimental something--

    Before my grandma died, she gave me a string of antique red beads, each individually knotted. Her polio-stricken aunt had made the necklace. When my grandmother died, my mom and two sisters went through her jewelry without me--because I usually don't wear any--and I got what nobody else wanted--an ugly jade necklace and ring. But I bet those red beads mean more to me than all the jewels--most of it costume, to be honest--my sisters ended up with because grandma wanted me to have them.

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    1. I'm glad she gave you those beads, Margie! That's exactly my feeling with the lovebirds. They're old but not expensive...but they mean a lot to me.

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  8. What a beautiful story! I have tons of things that belonged to both my grandma and my mom (my grandma passed away in 1998 and my mom in 2001). They all mean something to me.

    Sorry about your loss, Kristi.

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    1. thank you, Sara. Glad you, too, have something special from your family!

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  9. My mom gave me a gold sugar and creamer I used to always want to use for my dolls but she wouldn't let me. I have it on my desk by a picture with her and my dad.

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    1. aw, those are the *best* keepsakes, I think, Lynn...they take us back to happier times.

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  10. I am sorry for your loss. In thinking of keepsakes, when my dad was in the war, he wore a ring he fashioned out of plain silver metal that was used to make airplanes. He wore it, seemingly, for forever on the pointer finger of his right hand. I admired the ring for years. When I began to ask questions about the ring, he slid it off his finger and told me that I could have it. Imagine my delight!! I am having it fitted so that it will fit my right pointer finger, the same as what he wore. I will wear it and cherish it always, my keepsake.

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    1. that's great, Arsoleen! What a wonderful story and memory of your father!

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  11. Sorry about your grandma, Kristi. I have a wooden box full of my Grandpa's old handkercheifs. He said a gentleman should always have a handkercheif. My daughter carried one of them down the aisle with her when she got married. It seems my grandfather was rather sentimental too. He kept the pacifiers of all his children, grands, and great grands. My grandmother still has them in a wooden box on her dresser. As soon as our children are weened off pacifiers, we know she gets them.

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    1. That's so cool, Shawn! Love that he kept the old pacifiers...and I think it's wonderful your daughter got to take a little bit of him on her walk down the aisle.

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  12. Love this, Kristi, and am glad you're back, though I'm sorry for your loss.

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  13. I have several mementos, but one of the favorites is a ring my father made. Although he worked in the factory, at some point, he must have had time on his hands. As art and photography were his hobbies, he crafted a ring with an artist's palette on it. He wore it for several years in place of a wedding band. It's a constant reminder of how much he loved art.

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  14. My family keepsake is a set of champagne glass hand blown in Italy prior to WWII. My father picked up the set in colors from champagne, deep red (not ruby glass), pale blue, green, etc. Over the years we kids broke some but they always make Thankgiving, Christmas, and Easter tables special with pride of place.

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