Trinket or Treasure?
By the time she realized what she had is was far too late. Too late to say thank you. Too late to notice how precious it was to Grammy Sabin. At the time of the exchange it seemed like just a useless trinket. On this day, as she held the precious brooch in the palm of her hand, she wept crocodile tears. Why hadn’t anyone mentioned the importance of this piece or the heartfelt story that preceded her taking possession. Only now on the day that Grammy would be lowered into that dark hole and soon forgotten did Auntie Lou bother to break her silence. How could Grammy have given up this priceless piece of her past without a word of caution. She should have said, ” Lilly, put this in a very safe place and treasure it as I did for the rest of your life”. Instead she said nothing, no history, no warning, no story, not even a hint of emotion on her face. Her silence led Lilly to believe it was just another piece of junk jewelry that didn’t fit with her teen-aged wardrobe. She barely gave it a second look before she tossed it to the bottom of the jewelry box. She never noticed the intricate painting of a temple and the message of faith or the depth of color that radiated from the beautiful stone. She only saw what a shallow girl at the age of sixteen could see. If only she’ld known, if only she had shown some gratitude, if only she’d passed the test.
This piece had put food on the table and saved the life of young Sabin so many decades ago. It was a great sacrifice by her mother to give up a piece that was brought back from the war and given to her in an envelope with a love letter and death certificate. Sabin remembered the tears that slide down her mother’s cheek as a haughty woman in a lavish fur wrap came to the door and claimed her new possession. At the not yet mature age of thirteen she vowed to some day reclaim this precious thing and give it back to her broken hearted mother. The very next week she began work for the woman with the fur wrap, by scrubbing the floors and harvesting the garden. Sabin spent weeks and months and a little over a year working and saving. All the while she watched as this upper class lady went to afternoon socials and evening affairs wearing the brooch that belonged to her family. They had agreed on a price, a rather unfair amount she thought but no matter, they had a deal. But as fate would have it, the day she reached her goal came one month too late. Her mother had passed before she earned enough to get it back. It was bitter sweet but still she treasured it like nothing else she owned.
The day Grammy Sabin transferred her ownership to Lilly, her only grandaughter, she was in the early stages of alzheimers and couldn’t recall where it came from. The story was lost and nothing was translated until now.
This story is just one example of why I love old things. One person’s trinket is another one’s treasure. You never know what stories they’ll tell.
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