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Sunday, August 3, 2008

The good, the bad, the sad

In 2001, my paternal grandmother passed away. It was a difficult time for my brother and I as we travelled from Georgia to Delaware and made her final arrangements, cleaned out her house and decided what we were going to do with all of her things.

Some of the things she had already specified what she wanted done with them and others we made the best decision possible. Out of all of her things she specifically wanted me to have her dining room set. A classic dining set that included a table that seated six, buffet table and a china cabinet. Pieces that she'd had long before I was born.

My brother and I loaded the belongings into a U-Haul truck and drove from Delaware to Georgia. I put a lot of it in a storage unit, but used the dining set. When I moved to my current home, in early 2003, I had to put the dining room set in storage because of lack of space. I always thought I would have a larger home by now and be able to use the set she had taken such good care of in order to pass to her only granddaughter - me.

Over the past year, things have gotten more and more difficult for me financially. So earlier last week I donated everything in the storage unit to the Salvation Army. Well, the table and chairs had been sold on eBay months ago, but I hadn't been able to sell the other pieces. Not only did I have the rest of the dining set, but there was an antique couch that my grandmother had reholpulstered with her own hands along with a chair.

It's good that I was able to eliminate that monthly expense, but I feel bad that I had to get rid of the stuff my grandmother wanted me to have. I hope she wouldn't be too disappointed in me. It's a little sad too because as more time passes I lose even more of her... those pieces were just a reminder of a woman who had been in my life since I was born. She loved me, cared for me, cooked for me, nurtured me... she had always been there for me.

I feel like I let her down and it makes me a little sad. I did, however, hold onto her china and dishes that I hope to get out of boxes one day when I have a larger place and more cabinet space. There are bowls I remember her using when I was a child, china that her own mother passed down to her and some very lovely pieces that I would love to display in a china cabinet.

I have some of her bowls and platters on the shelf above my cabinets and I console myself by propping my feet on the ottoman that she recovered to match the sofa. I keep it under my desk (that used to belong to her too!) and I almost donated it with the couch. But, I thought, it'd be good to hold onto this small piece of her. The fabric she chose is such a reminder of who she was as a person.
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