July 19th, 2009


Writer's Block: Family Heirlooms

Is there anything in your family that has been passed down from generation to generation, or from family member to family member? What is it? And who do you plan to pass it on to?

There are several items in my family that have been passed down. From my mother's side, there's a lucky sixpence.

There's that old bridal rhyme, for what a bride needs on her wedding day, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." A slightly lesser-known continuance of that is, "...and a lucky sixpence in her shoe." My great-grandmother was from England, and she brought over a lucky sixpence to go into the shoe of my grandmother, and then both of her daughters when they were to be married. My mother was the youngest, and on her wedding day, they couldn't find the sixpence! She walked down the aisle with a penny in her shoe. However, they did find the sixpence later, and when I was married about a year and a half ago, I had the sixpence in my shoe. It now resides in my jewelry case until either my younger sister gets married or one of us has a daughter about to wed.

From my father's side, there's a cedar chest. It was either carved by my paternal grandfather, whom I never met, as he died of a heart attack when he was forty, when my father was just a toddler, or by my grandfather's brother. It has a calligraphy-style "G" on the top, which is the first letter of the family name. The chest was given to my father, and then later given to me. I kept my stuffed animals in it for many years, and now it holds my winter wardrobe. Eventually it will be given to one of my children or my sister's children.