From Heirlooms to Treasure

Antique Vases

The Japanese vases caught my eye. The cobalt blue, emerald and gold-laced vases with a touch of pink stood on the shelf of my grandmother’s antique store.  Often, she would let me pick out something small from the store to take home. I asked if could take these, and she said, “Yes!”  I was thrilled! They were beautiful! I have them in my house to this day, and they tell a story:  A story about her relationship with me.  My life was enriched by the time I spent with her at her shop, interacting with her and learning from her.  She had influenced me to appreciate the finer things of life from a by-gone era.  The antiques gave me an appreciation for the beauty in art, sculpture, design and even furniture.

When she passed, I wanted to gather up all the treasures she had given me over the years, pictures and other memorabilia and display them in my house so that I could share her story.  I wanted to honor her memory by sharing what she shared with me. But what she shared with me the most was her life.  As we talked about the many heirlooms in her shop, the story of her life and the lives of the owners of the antiques came through.

This led me to ponder what we, as a culture, view as a treasure?  Is it people or things? I only valued these things because of HER; because of my relationship with HER.  They held meaning because of a person, not because of their intrinsic value.  Once again, I was led to the important concept that people matter more than things.

Things in this life are closely connected to people, but people have value that far outweigh the material part of our world.  They are the treasure of our world. People connect our life, enrich our life, and influence us to become who we are, just as my grandmother influenced me.