I love things that have a story behind them.
I have several of those kinds of items. The maltese cross pendant that my mom gave each of us kids one year for Christmas, because our dad was a firefighter who died as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty. I have a necklace that Sunshine bought me at the Chickasaw Tribal Gathering that features the corn maiden. The t-shirt Sunshine got me from the twelve-step meeting he went to while he was in NYC for the Tribeca Film Festival. There’s the beautiful little all-wood jewelry box (oh, the wooden inlays!) on my bedside table that was handmade in Russia that Sunshine found at a gun show last year. The birthstone ring that was my mother’s–it matched her wedding set that my dad put on her finger when they got married. The number of objects in my home that have such stories are countless, and I cherish both the objects and the stories.
There’s the stuff my friend La Loca Profesora gave me when I helped her pack and move. She gave her her mother’s molinillo (the whisk hispanics use to whip their hot chocolate drinks) because she got a kick out of watching me perform my Cuban 8th grade Spanish instructor’s little song she sang as she taught us how to make hot chocolate like a Cuban. La Profesora’s mother had passed many years earlier, and yet she gave me this treasured piece of her mother’s life.
La Loca Profesora had a lot of items with such interesting histories behind them. She and her family had lived all over the world. I think my favorite item was the ruana she gave me. She bought it in Bogota, Colombia in 1982 (as I type that I can hear La Profesora saying all that to me in her beautifully Colombian accented Spanish). I’m glad the weather has finally started to cool down enough that I’ll actually be able to wear it, even if it’s only in the mornings and evenings for now.
To know that someone entrusted me with not only her stories, but also the objects that represent those stories, is such an honor. I will wear my Colombian ruana with pride as I whip up some hot chocolate with my molinillo this fall and winter.
I hope that Sunshine and I continue to fill our homes, our hearts, and our lives with things that have stories behind them instead of mass-produced cheap-ass shit from big-box retailers. It isn’t the number of objects we’ve accumulated that speak of a life well-lived. It’s the stories behind the objects we bring into our homes that speak of a life lived to the fullest.