Several weeks ago we learned that my grandmother-in-law (heretofore known as Grandma) was once again waging war on the cancer that has plagued her for the last four years. As a result of this most recent diagnosis, she and Papa John have decided to put their house on the market and plan to move in with Matt’s aunt. As they prepare the house for sale they are clearing out some of the furniture and sifting through all of the layers of stuff that you accumulate throughout a lifetime.
Many of the furnishings and accessories in their home hold generations worth of family history and Grandma knows the story behind each and every piece. It has always amazed me the memory she has for such things; she is a wealth of oral history for both her side of the family and Papa John’s. At various times throughout our marriage Matt and I have been blessed by their generosity in sharing these items with us, and, thus, have several pieces in our home that have long family histories that we hope will one day be passed on to our children and grandchildren.
Last weekend Grandma called Matt and asked if we would be interested in having a few more pieces of their furniture. The only catch was that we needed to get it quickly in order for them to clear out and stage the house by the time it is scheduled to go on the market. So, this weekend we made a whirlwind trip (approximately 24 hours) to Nashville.
We came home with three new (to us) pieces – a beautiful cupboard/china cabinet that has been in the family for several generations, a lovely marble-top chest that dates to the early 1900s, and a comfy couch (it isn’t an antique, but it is a great addition to our living room!). We also were gifted a wonderful set of white dinnerware and various other bits and pieces that have value to us because we remember them from visits and associate them with Grandma and Papa John.
I am truly blessed to have such wonderful in-laws (Matt’s parents, his siblings, all of his grandparents, aunts, etc), and we, as a family, have been truly blessed by the love and generosity of Grandma and Papa John. I just hope we can remember all of the family stories to pass on to our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren like Grandma has.