I think about the things I would try to save if there were a fire in my house. Those objects that are precious, have memories attached to them and can’t be replaced. Those possessions that can give you a hug and a good feeling just by being there, being seen and being touched.
I have several of these irreplaceable items Some are out to be seen. Some are safely tucked away. And some are used daily.
My quilts are very important to me, but one is especially precious. It’s hanging on the wall in our guest bedroom. It’s so valuable to me because it is made from linens stitched by my grandmother and mother. There are tablecloths, towels, napkins, dresser scarves and doilies in the quilt. Then it is bordered in colorful handkerchiefs.
I can just feel those women around me when I am in the presence of that quilt. It’s like a great big hug. It speaks to me through its stitches and linens. I would definitely grab it first, if there was a fire or a flood.
My great-grandmother’s bedroom set is in our bedroom. Gramps and I have used it since we were married. My grandmother was born in that bed. It is made of cherry wood and is very ornate – very Victorian. It has a tall headboard and footboard.
I can’t even tell you how cuddled and comforted I feel in Gram’s big bed. I can just imagine the generations of women dusting those wooden boards and changing the linens and fluffing the pillows. It’s an honor to keep up the tradition of loving my bed. My dilemma? I’m not sure I could carry it out in a disaster.
Now my mother’s silver tea set is very portable in case of a calamity. It’s tucked away in a cupboard because we never use it anymore. That’s not to say I don’t get it out and pet it periodically. My mother had it sitting on the buffet, always polished and always shiny. It reminds me of her in many ways. She too was always polished and shiny.
I have some of my Daddy’s tools, which also are not very useful but are a treasure to me. He was a carpenter in the CB’s during WW II and was a general all-around fix-it kind of guy. To have those tools that were used and touched by him so many times is a gift for me. When I see them, I can almost hear him working and banging away on some project. Thinking of it now almost brings tears to my eyes.
Then there’s the diamond ring that Gramps gave me many years ago as a birthday present. I wear it all the time. It’s a daily reminder of his love and devotion to me. Coincidentally, the large diamond in the center is surrounded by six smaller diamonds, exactly the number of grandchildren we have.
The whole ring is a little remembrance of my entire family – all three generations. I don’t go anywhere without it.
So obviously, all these possessions could not be gotten out of the house very rapidly. But they could in a slow evacuation. And you know what? It doesn’t matter if I have any of these items really.
Because I carry all the people and memories in my heart, where they are safe from every disaster and can never be lost.