There are so many things we inherit from our parents, grandparents and ancestors we’ve never even met. Names and stories we don’t know flow through us. They are the scattered pieces that make us whole. Our passions, temperaments and talents that make up our DNA.
We also inherit kingdoms, priorities, minerals rights, recipes and debt.
But the most precious inheritances are memories. As a writer, the stories of the past fascinate me and often work their way in to my characters’ narratives. I have a story I want to write based a WW 2 diary that was passed down from one of my grandfathers, Forrest French. I never got to meet him. Maybe he also gave me my love of journaling?
What brought this musing to mind? My daughters inherited a Hamilton mint green and chrome drugstore milkshake maker from my grandmother.
Me-Maw had this wondrous appliance sitting on her counter for as all long as I can remember. She had worked at her brother’s Main Street Drug Store in Leakey, Texas and somehow got to keep this one.
(I found this photo of Uncle Norris on Tom Clark’s blog) http://tomclarkblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/marc-st-gil-wading-in-water-leakey-texas.html
Every trip to Me-Maw’s (and we visited a great deal) would get us an orange plastic cup of a chocolate milkshake. And as time has a way of marching on, I soon found myself as a mother of four. Me-Maw was serving them the special treat.
My oldest daughter, also the oldest granddaughter and great-granddaughter, got a promise from Me-Maw that she would inherit the appliance. I find it amazing what people will fight over after a death of a loved one. As humans, we get very emotional over the strangest things. I have seen families torn apart over the smallest properties. Of course at times, a mix of greed, grief and regret can become an ugly cocktail of emotions that boils over to hurt others.
So standing in the spacious country kitchen sorting through the property and family heirlooms can be emotional. My father had passed before his parents so my sisters stood with my uncles. One of my uncles made a point that Me-Maw wanted Katrina and Storm to have her milkshake maker. Despite everyone wanting it, and Katrina being a great-granddaughter, they all agreed. That in itself brought Katrina to tears.
Now whenever we have guests, Katrina loves making milkshakes for everyone. She might have inherited more than just the mint green appliance from Me-Maw. Like a desire to show her love by serving?
I do know we inherited more than a milkshake maker, because warm memories of family and love are wrapped tightly around the little machine.
Do you have an item you love because of the memories and places tied to it, or regrets of a lost family heirloom?