| This is the 1st collection of Life’s Little Moments |
We asked our readers on social media to share their bite-sized story of an object or memory that they held near and dear. Below are a few of our favorite responses:
Someone very special to me was visiting my home for the first time. While we spoke, he was browsing my bookshelf. His fingertips curiously landed on a bright red ceramic heart held by a white ceramic hand. “What’s in here?” he asked, slowly slipping the top half of the heart off of the bottom half. “It belonged to my dad; my step-dad, Tom. My mother gave it to him for Valentine’s Day when they were dating.” Inside was one of his handkerchiefs and beneath it was a dog-eared Post-It note. “When he passed away…” I paused, “It was given to me…” I wistfully lifted the hidden note from the bottom of the heart, and listened as my visitor deciphered the jagged elementary-school lettering from 30 years ago:
Dear Tom, Happy Valentine’s Day! (Turn to back.) P.S. I told this to my mom but I want to tell you. I hope you can be my dad because I think you’d be perfect for the job.
We both smiled, and as I heard “Aw…” in an almost inaudible whisper I confirmed, “He was.”
-Erica Bauman, Ohio, USA.
My papaw made a wooden box for my grandma years back. And considering his carpentry skills, it’s nothing special—just a book-sized rectangle with a lid—and yet, I keep it because I miss the days with him that were nothing special. The familiar walks around the block, the humdrum of collecting leaves and grass clippings, every redundant “How are you feeling?” and, “I love you too.” I keep his box because I miss the days before he disappeared.
Death happens. It’s nothing special—we just end up in a human-sized casket with a lid—and yet, we keep the memories of life forever. ❤️
-Colleen Walker, 25, Ohio, USA, content editor.
The first object that came to mind is my irreplaceable, completely tattered, light pink baby blanket. It holds a special place in my heart because not only was it mine but it was passed down from my mother. It’s frayed on the ends and there’s a slight hole near the corner where my mom chewed on it as an infant but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s gotten me through many a cold night and scary thunderstorms as a child. It got me through moving away from my hometown and starting college in a brand-new city full of strangers. Yep, I was that college student cuddled with her baby blanket on her dorm bed so I didn’t feel homesick and I’m not ashamed. 💖
-Shelby Leigh, 26, Florida, USA, freelance writer.
The oldest object that I carry with me at all times is a ring given to me by my great-grandmother, Rose. It’s gold with a swirly design that descends up to carry my birthstone, citrine. When I was given this ring, I must have been younger than a pre-teen. Much too young to even understand what the significance of a piece of jewelry was from a relative. I placed it on my tiny ring finger and it was a perfect fit. I could wave my hand all around and the ring did not leave my finger. I looked up at Rose with a big smile on my face, thanked her, and gave her a big, tight hug. I can still remember her saying to me, “Well, you are the love of my life.”The citrine stone is considered to be a healing gemstone and I believe that to be true. Whenever I feel the need to have a good cry when I think about Rose, I instead look at the ring that she gave me and I feel healed for the moment. This ring may not be big or flashy, but I have never needed that and Rose knew that. I just needed a gift from someone I love. After Rose passed away, I promised myself I would protect this ring at all cost and I believe I have done a good job so far. Even though the citrine stone is supposed to be a gift from the sun, I know mine came from Rose, one of the most compassionate people I have ever known. -Carly Levy, 26, Florida, USA, freelance writer.
As I read the question above: “What is one old object you have held onto and why?” I immediately look down to my neck, on which lays a rose gold Claddagh, an Irish symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship.
As the oldest girl on my mother’s Irish side of the family, I inherited this family heirloom as I turned 18, coincidentally as I was about to fly away to Dublin to study at Trinity College. While the symbol itself is very important to me, as it’s a symbol of where my family comes from, the story of the rose gold heirloom lays much closer to my heart.
In 1918, my great-grandmother was 19 years old. When her mother died, as the oldest of 10 children, it was up to her to take care of her younger siblings as the mother figure in their lives. However, this didn’t quite suit the young and rebellious Mary-Anne, who stalked off in the middle of the night in her bright red coat on her rusty old bicycle, wearing a rose gold Claddagh brooch, pinned to her chest. That night, she was heading towards her future in America, with her boyfriend with whom she’d eventually start a family, a family that would one day lead to me. Not only does this old pin, fashioned now into a necklace, remind me of where I come from, but of the rebellious spirit of my great-grandmother, and the courage she had to leave everything she knew behind to start a life of freedom in a foreign country.
While the necklace has only been in my possession as of recently, my family has held onto it for generations, and I know that I will continue to keep it close to my heart, until I’m ready to pass it down to the next generation, as a reminder to whoever is wearing it that they not only came from a country of rich culture and history, but from a family who has risked everything to make a better life for themselves.
-Claire Iannuzzi, 18, Dublin, Ireland (for school), and Vermont, USA (for the summer), student at Trinity College Dublin.
The prompt for this collection was introduced to our readers on April 18, 2019.