I am larger than a shoe box, but smaller than a piano.
I can hold enough liquid to nourish a giant.
I am blue.
I have a base.
I am “open” at the top.
My lip is smooth.
I am larger in my middle than anyplace else.
I was a gift.
What am I?
If you guessed a giant brandy snifter from the 1960s – you know the decorative ones that you hated as a kid but parents seemed to love – you are right!
I emptied the pot pourri that Mom had had in it for the past 10 years in total. There was likely a bit of the smelly mixture from 3 years ago, mixed with some from 4 years ago, mixed with some from 10 years ago. There was no scent left – but she thought it looked pretty.
I washed the vessel carefully. This startled me – that I was so careful. My entire life I’ve hated this thing. It had been the source of angst for me for years as I encouraged Mom to, “get rid of that ugly thing”. And yet – there I was being so careful. It’s entire fate was in my hands – is in my hands and I cannot believe that I am treated it so … yes, carefully.
Mom always loved it. I’m not sure she loved it because of it’s beauty – really, who could love it? I think she loved it because it was a gift from the people she worked with and loved at the Simcoe Medical Group. It was a gift to say, “good-bye” to her when she “retired” from nursing. I parenthesized nursing because she actually never retired and was often back in the office filling in for nurses that went on holidays or were ill. She loved these people. They had grown up with her – and it was these women who also claimed to have trained all the new “green” doctors who, at that time, were just beginning their careers.
I turned the thing upside down to dry and stared at it. Like the Pier One Import commercial, the stupid thing seemed to speak to me.
“Stacey, I have so many stories to tell you. I have been in your life for so long – just sitting and observing. I watched as your Dad received news about the death of his Dad… I watched as your parents received news about the birth of their first grand-daughter, Megan, then JJ, then Ben, then Katya, and then David. I watched as your Mom and Dad celebrated with their friends during summer swims, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day. When we moved to the condo I was moved to the bedroom where I saw as your Dad rose in the morning and retired at night. I watched as your Mom nursed him back to health from pneumonia, from his stroke, from his hip surgery, and then throughout his Parkinson’s. I was there, Stacey. I am a part of their lives. Finally, I watched as your Dad took his final breath. I was with you – and I’m with you now.”
Okay – so the Pier One Import commercial may not have their things speaking exactly that intimately – but, crap, that ugly blue bowl suddenly became important to me. It got to me. It is staring at me right now as it dries upside down in the sink.
What do I do with it? How can I dispose of this “treasure” that Mom loved so much? It’s big and it’s blue!!!! For Heaven’s sake. Do I put it beside the samovar – or the type-writer or Dad’s straw hat?
I am larger than a bread – basket but smaller than a piano.
I am sometimes blue with grief and sometimes red with anger.
My main role in this family is “Mom” and to my husband I am “wife”.
I have a heart larger than life and a memory shorter than a snail is fast.
What am I?
…A sucker for sentiment.