Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A beautiful true story of love............enjoy

A friend sent me this story last week, it's in her own words, and I wanted to share it with you.

In 1954, when my Grandmother was about 50, my Grandfather was returning home from an extended trip - Siam, India, Europe and the British Isles. He traveled a lot. Sometimes she would go with him, and sometimes not. They lived in New York City after escaping the bombings in England during the war. He was a world champion badminton player (also cricket - though after moving to US, he did not play that anymore). He traveled around the world promoting badminton and playing matches and exhibitions. It was Christmas Eve (his birthday). My Grandmother had learned to drive in his absence and was planning to pick him up from the airport and surprise him with her new found talent. The plane was going to New York - his final leg. It crashed on take off and all but one person was killed. Wish it would have been my Grandfather, but it was not. If only wishing could make it so, Z.

Many years later, my Grandmother told me that it really took a whole year before she really knew he was gone. Of course she knew on one level, but since he traveled so much, she was used to him being gone. She would find herself thinking that he would walk through the door, or when he gets home, we will do this or that....and then catch herself. It was also made more difficult because whenever he traveled, he would buy little things in different countries and ship them back home - not only to her, but to my mom, dad and my sister and me. Of course in those days, things took weeks and even months. There were always these little notes inside. I was very young (6) so I did not get the real impact as my parents and Grandmother did. I still remember the last gift - he sent my sister and I each an "elephant" stool. It was a small replica of what was used to ride on a real elephant and it was from Siam. They were made of leather (one was red and one was green) and wood. Just the perfect size for little girls to sit on.

When my grandmother was shipped his belongings (suitcase recovered from the plane), she found inside a small blue and white plate from Denmark. She had started to collect them, so he got one for her and was bringing it home with him. Amazingly, it was not broken. It was in perfect shape. I always remember it displayed, though I did not know the story behind it until I was in my 20's. I guess it was hard for her to talk about and I still remember being so surprised when she told me the story about it. One day many years after she told me the story, it fell down and shattered. Grams was about 85 years old at the time. She was in tears when she called me to tell me about what had happened. I told her to put everything together in a bag and I would come over and fix it. She told me that she thought it could not be fixed. I got there with my super glue. We worked on it together - she would hold pieces so I could glue them. We put it back together as best we could, though there were tiny pieces that were just missing because they had shattered so much. At that point, my Grandmother's vision was not very good at all (macular degeneration). When I held it up - she was just beaming and with tears in her eyes told me it looked perfect. She could not really see the little missing pieces. The plate was a picture of a ship on the ocean and the sky. The little pieces missing were in the sky - I told her they looked like stars shining through when I held it up to the light. This is not the exact plate, but it looks like this:

My Grandmother continued to keep the plate in a prominent place in her home. When she passed away in February of 2000, I took the plate home with me. I also keep it in a place that I see everyday, even though it is damaged, to me it is just perfect.

I think this story is, too..........thanks, Mary. xxxx
UPDATE: Mary tells me their Thanksgiving will be more special for her having written to me and then sharing this treasured family story again with her own children....Please remember your family members who are gone and keep them in your memories like the precious gifts they were. And still are. Z xxx


Linda said...

What a wonderful story!

Tom said...

Beautiful, Z. It truly is the little things that make life wonderful.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely story Z.

There is no way a holiday can pass without the spirit of loved ones who are gone, joining us. They made our lives so much richer, and we are so fortunate to have had them with us.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


Chuck said...

I think the memory of what the plate represented made it, in her eyes, perfect. Good story Z.

Beth said...

I loved the part of the missing pieces of the broken plate being like stars. It's like those who have gone before us that will be missing from our hoiday gatherings, they are missing from our lives but they too are like stars up in heaven now.

christian soldier said...

all of my Danish plates-whether damaged or not- are precious - most came from my gifts...--so glad I have a fellow Danish plate collector as a friend...

Anonymous said...

This story tells precisely why I still have my mother's jewelry box, my father's Boy Scout knife, the cast-iron frying pan my parents used on camping trips before I was born -- a frying pan we took with us to the beach for years so we could cook eggs and bacon outdoors early in the morning.

It is why I still use a tea cozy handmade by a favorite great aunt 64 years ago. The material is faded, stained and the lining is fast rotting away, but I wouldn't part with it -- or many other things I treasure -- because they help keep loved ones long dead alive in my heart -- and still functioning in my home.

I thank God for all who loved me, all who taught me, and even all who hurt me. Life is wholly good for Life is a gift from God.

~ FreeThinke

Jan said...

Dearest Z..this just made me cry, it was so touching, and all the comments made me cry, too.

Love and appreciation, and sharing...that's what life is all about, really...isn't it?

I thought of you all day today, knowing that it would be a 'first' since your precious Mr. Z went home.

I just felt like I couldn't get through the first Thanksgiving after my mom left us, because the one before had been so happy with her sitting there at the table with us in her geri-chair, which was something that she was not often able to do.

I was remembering that, with tears slipping down my face, as I removed some magnets from the fridge so that I could wipe it down, while the turkey was cooking.

One was a picture frame, with a recipe, or something, in it, but when I removed it, there smiling at me with her beautiful smile, was my was a Polaroid print taken the year before, and underneath her picture was written "Happy Thanksgiving!"

It must have been that some nurses has taken the picture and written those words, and somehow, it was placed behind that magnet on the refrigerator door!

It was like a special message from my mom, telling me not to grieve, but to be happy!

I still don't know how the picture got there, but all I could think was what a loving Heavenly Father we have, to see that we receive such special gifts, just when we need them the most!

Z said...

FT, I'm a sentimental pack rat too..unapologetic! We just emptied out a big storage unit we had kept for years and I still have the old green folding table my grandparents used to put out when company came so Grandpa could have a table on which to serve his famous Highballs. I still have the baby crib me and my siblings all slept in and am tossing it out! BUT, not before I had my stepson saw off the balls at the foot and head of the crib and blue wooden balls I'm giving each of my siblings as a reminder!! I can't WAIT to present that precious piece of wood to them with a picture of the little 3-dimensional sheep on the headboard!!

Jan, what a story! It's like your dear Mom was reaching out to you with that message for this year. I loved that, thanks So much for sharing it.
I'm glad you liked my friend's story.

And yes, today was tough, but my family kept me well diverted and very well fed and I must say that, when I didn't think of Mr Z, the day was good. I know he'd want that.

love and hugs, honey !! xxx Vinegar

Anonymous said...

I love this.

I once knew a lady who had a quilted patchwork CAPE. Each piece of material was taken from clothing her four children had sworn when they were little.

I'd never heard of anything like that before, and I've never seen anything like it since.

So sweet!

~ FreeThinke