This year, Sian's focus for Storytelling Sunday is on "picking your precious." Each month we are to choose something precious to us and tell the story. Here's mine.
I am from a very large, Italian, Catholic family. Actually owning a family heirloom is pretty darn special. Sometime after I got married, my aunt (one of my grandmother's sisters---bear with me here) gave me "Nonna's" punch bowl. That would be my great-grandmother. She died before I was born, so I never knew her. I cherished that punch bowl. I was told that I got it because I was the oldest great-grandchild. Makes sense to me.
As the years have gone by, I've used this punch bowl for Derby parties, showers, Christmas parties---just about any large gatherings. I would never loan it out. During the weekend of Sandy's wedding, a friend, giving me a hand with the "after the wedding/present opening brunch" chipped it. It's not a terrible chip, but it's there. I was always so careful with it---that saddened me. But, I have a philosophy about using the beautiful things I have. There's no sense in having them if you don't enjoy them.
That lead me to speculate about the punch bowl. I don't know a thing about it's history or any stories behind it---just that it belonged to my great-grandmother. I decided to ask my mom about it. She said she would think about it, ask around in the family and let me know. Now this is the same mother (I only had one) who couldn't even remember the day I was born. I asked her on my 50th birthday to recount that day for me. Her response was in an exasperated tone---"Oh, Barbara, I can't remember that far back!" What??? Seriously, who doesn't remember EVERYTHING surrounding the birth of their FIRST born?? Even if you had six more, I would think she would have remembered me!! She wasn't the sentimental type.
Anyway, back to the story. Since I didn't hear anything back from her, I made the layout and speculated about what the story might be.
I knew that my great-grandmother had been an excellent cook---and that the whole family came over on Sundays. I imagined that she loved to entertain and that perhaps I had inherited that from her. I imagined grand parties where the punch bowl would reign over the dining room table filled with a glistening brew. I imagined people dressed in their finest, laughing and cavorting and just relishing being together. I put it all down on paper---feeling a real kinship to this woman I had never known.
On my next visit to St. Louis. Mom said, "Oh, by the way. I asked around the family about the punch bowl. Seems no one ever remembers Nonna using it. It just sat on top of the china cabinet for as long as we can remember."
And just like that, my kinship with my great-grandmother was gone. So much for imaginary dreams!!