Has anyone ever left you something that you love SO MUCH, just thinking about it gives you an overflowing abundance of gratitude?
Last Sunday we went to see some friends and it was our first time to their house. While there, I noticed an amazing grandfather clock sort of tucked away in the corner of the dining room.
As far as clocks go, it was rather impressive. It was a Regulator with an ornately carved top. When I asked them about the clock, her eyes lit up and he got up from his chair in front of the playoff football game!
Here’s the thing, a football fan left the game to talk about a clock, a hutch, crock jars, and quilts? That told me right then that those things meant something to him.
They certainly did. Turns out those items had been his grandparents. When they passed away, he chose the things he connected with. He told me stories of the clock and even shared a boyhood memory of one of the quilts. Love that!
It also got me thinking about a conversation a different friend and I had recently. We were talking about our grandparents, their lives, their homes, and what they left us. Essentially we discussed our inheritances.
This is just a guess, but I’d say that most of the time when the word inheritance is mentioned, minds tend to jump to “how much?” That’s fair enough, I suppose. But to me, an inheritance is more about things learned and memories made.
Financially, neither set of my grandparents were wealthy. Yet, because of them, I am beyond rich.
Rich in history. Rich in character. Rich in keepsakes. Rich in family. Rich in talent. Rich in memories. Rich in grateful. Rich in heart.
It is because of them that I received my in-heart-itance.
While I was trying to think of a word to describe what my grandparents left to me, the word in-heart-itance sort of just fell onto the paper. I completely made it up and honestly, it sums everything up quite well.
- They taught me that true friends show up.
- They stepped into compassion’s shoes every morning, and I learned about helping others and kindness.
- They shared their love of gardening, flowers, and farming with me.
- They not only showed me their hobbies, but taught me to do them as well. Grandma Wilma taught me embroidering. Grandma Irene taught me how to make meringue. Grandpa Abbe showed me how to fish.
- Family was of utmost importance to them, and they showed me how to appreciate who we are given.
They left behind pieces of their lives that fill the spaces of my home. An oil lamp from Grandma Wilma. Crotcheted items they made me when I was little. Letters they wrote me and birthday cards they sent year after year. My embroidery hoops from childhood. A curler that was Grandma Irene’s. She LOVED getting her hair done at the beauty shop and went every week. A cookie jar that I once gave to Grandma Wilma that she gave back to me.
Another thing I got, nearly bring tears to my eyes. When my grandpa Abbe passed away, there was a bag of coins in his safe deposit box. Now, to coin collectors those coins don’t mean much, but to me, they mean the world.
You see, when he and grandma had their 50th wedding anniversary, there was a big party at the church. Friends and family gave them 50 cent pieces and coins as tokens of celebration.
Six months later, grandma went in for open heart surgery and never came out. He survived her by nearly 20 years. Just like my friend’s clock, those coins meant something to him.
The symbolism in those coins nearly takes my breath because they represent 70 years of love and living. How cool is that?
To me, that is when some letters tend to squeeze their way into the word “inheritance” and ultimately put the word heart right where it belongs.