Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cleaning the Silverware

I don't know about you and your family, but doing the most time-consuming or tedious tasks together seems to bring out the best stories.  After everyone finished their pie and birthday cake on Thanksgiving, I was putting away the silverware with my mom in the dining room.  As we dried each piece before putting it back into the storage box, Mom told me a great story. 

Of course, it started with Mom's obligatory, "I've probably already told you this story, so tell me if you've heard it before..."  When I was younger, I was a brat and would brush off the stories I had heard several times before.  I'm so embarrassed to admit that I would even interrupt Mom and tell her, "Yes, I know that one" or try to finish her sentences.  Now that I am a little older, I'm learning that hearing the story each time will be different because we've both changed since the last time we heard them, and the questions I ask might bring out different details I have never heard before.  Hearing my mom's story on Thanksgiving as a married woman had much more meaning than the last time I heard it in junior high.

When my parents got married, Grandma told Mom to register for silver.  It was a gorgeous pattern, but unfortunately, they received only a single fork.  When my dad's birthday rolled around five months after they got married, Mom wanted to buy Dad a nice gift.  She didn't feel right spending a lot of money because they didn't have much, and "it wasn't just my money; it was our money."

So, Mom decided to take the single silver fork and try to return it to Younker's.  They wanted to give Mom store credit, but she said that the gift she had in mind wasn't in their store.  Younker's obliged and gave Mom money for the silver fork.

With the money she received for the fork, Mom purchased a Crucifix for Dad.  "He would have been so mad if I had spent that much money on anything else."  Mom smiled and said, "I think it really meant a lot to him that I did that." 

The Crucifix, similar to this one, still hangs in their bedroom. 

When they could afford it several years later, Mom and Dad bought a full set of silverware in the original pattern they had registered for.  Mom says, "Each time I get the silverware out, I think of that fork and your dad's first birthday after we were married."    

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful story, Catherine. What a special story!