Thursday, October 31, 2013

family gifts


 I went to visit my great-aunt yesterday. Aunt Sylvia - or "Sibo" - as we've always
affectionately called her - is now in her early 90's and has severe dementia.
Her son, my second cousin whom I've always been very close to and totally
adore, took care of his mom with no outside help up until about six weeks ago,
when he just couldn't do it anymore. Sibo is now in an assisted living facility
unlike any place I've ever seen before. Instead of your traditional nursing home
setting, this is a group of four ranch houses in a quiet neighborhood, where a
qualified husband and wife team lives in each one and takes care of the 
residents. Of course, there are medical staff that come by just about every day,
but for the elderly to be in a "real" home and have 24/7 care is so awesome.
My cousin is so happy and at peace with the care that is mother is receiving.

The last time I visited with Aunt Sibo was in August, so only two months ago.
I couldn't believe how much she's gone downhill since then. It was so sad
to see her totally incapacitated now. She slept most of the time and barely 
opened her eyes when we were there. She can't walk anymore and what little
speech she has is all garbled. Her petite frame is now just a bag of bones.
Other relatives from downstate whom I don't see very often, were there to
visit too, and at the end of our visit when the hospice chaplain prayed with
all of us, there were many tears. We were able to go out to lunch afterwards
and sat and talked for a couple of hours. Lots of hugs and gratefulness
for each other ended our visit. There is a lot of strife with other family members
over certain issues right now, and it's truly a shame. Life is just too short.

Anyway...my dear cousin was kind enough to give me some things that
belonged to my Aunt Sibo. He knows my tastes and what I like.
He was going through the china cabinet in his house and found these
beautiful napkins and dishtowels. Perfect colors for my kitchen!


 How gorgeous is this Fenton milk glass cake plate? Be still, my heart.


I could see this cake plate used for so many things, but for right now, it's
on the living room buffet. I think Aunt Sibo would be happy to know that
her things are with me and will be used with love and appreciated.



Do you have any family heirlooms from beloved relatives?

 

24 comments:

  1. You've received some lovely things that belonged to your aunt. The linens are gorgeous as well as the cake plate. I've inherited things from my relatives and my husband's also. I love pieces that have history behind them!

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    1. I agree - things in your home that have a history behind them are so much more interesting!

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  2. First, I am so impressed with the type of care your cousin selected. It sounds so humane and like your aunt is in good hands.

    Second, oh how sweet to have some of Aunt Sibo's wonderful linens. I love having things that remind me of special people each time I use them.

    I have a lot of my mother's things and a few of my grandmother's. They are treasures.

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    1. Thank you for what you said about my cousin and the care he chose for his mother. He looked at places for over a year for her! We were very pleased with his choice, too. So much better than a hospital-like setting. How nice to hear that you have some of your mother and grandmother's things.You should do a blog post about some of them! :-)

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  3. These are such nice things he gave you. That was really thoughtful of him. Her care situation sounds ideal; we have a group home in our neighborhood that seems a bit like that and I'm always very impressed by how neat and orderly it is on the outside so I can only assume they must be doing good work there. I have a few things which came to me through my husband's family and I really cherish them. Unfortunately people don't do that kind of thing in my own family so I'm thankful to have them from his, especially things from his grandmother, whom I never knew but I know that I would have gotten along very well with her because she cared about the same things I do.

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    1. That's too bad that people don't pass things down in your own family; good thing your husband's family does that. I also have some of my grandma's things, which I also greatly cherish.

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  4. Your aunt is in a wonderful place. She may be nearing the end, but who could ask for better circumstances? It's so sweet that you were able to have some of her precious things, I know you will treasure them.

    Just a little FYI...my grass seed washed away...I guess it's in with the lawn which will be especially thick come spring. ;-)

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    1. I agree with you about my aunt. Oh no, I'm so sorry your grass seed washed away. I didn't mean to "jinx" you!

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  5. I love the cake plate. The beadede details on the pedestal are lovely. That's so nice that you have it as a sweet memory.

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    1. Thank you, Magali. I love the detail on the cake plate, too.

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  6. I've got some things from my dad - he's a collector! Guess I know where I inherited that from!!!
    Kelly

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  7. I'm so glad your oousin is at peace with his choice of a home for your aunt--that's never an easy decision to make. He sounds like a very thoughtful man; from taking such care to find the right place for his mother, to hand-picking items of hers to share with you...you can tell that there was a lot of thought in both of those events. Enjoy your treasures...and the memories they hold!

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    1. My cousin is indeed a very thoughtful man...just one of the qualities I love about him. Thank you for your sweet comments.

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  8. Sounds like your aunt is in a lovely environment. Nice when it can feel like home rather than an institution. Very sweet of your cousin to think of you and pass along those things he knew you would appreciate and love. Have a great day. Tammy

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  9. Lovely mementos from your aunt, Melanie. My mom is slipping more and more into the world of dementia and it's hard to see. I'm glad your aunt is in a loving environment.

    xo
    Claudia

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    1. Thanks, Claudia. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. It is so hard to see our loved ones slipping away.

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  10. I just found your blog this past week-end. I spent hours going over past posts. I love your home and you style of writing. I thought you like to play house. I have recently decided that I want to call what I do around here "playing house". Makes it seem a lot more fun.

    Debbo

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    1. I'm glad you found my blog and that you've been enjoying it. Playing house is fun, isn't it? :-)

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  11. P.S. My name is not "Debbo". LOL! It's Debbi and Bob is my husband. We share an e-mail address.

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    1. Uh oh, you might have a new nickname now! lol

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  12. What sweet son to have been able to care for his mother for such a long time, all on his own! I have to admit, all the sad things that come with growing old, for some people, are starting to frighten me, now that I am nearing 50. As you know, I live in another continent, across the Atlantic and although I have never felt right about being so far away from my close knit family, now, more than ever, I feel the need to be close to them, all of them, including my sweet aunts, and one, in particular.

    How fitting that your cousin thought of you to take care of these particular items that belonged to your aunt. They all look perfect where you have placed them, Melanie and I know you will cherish them.

    Poppy

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  13. This brings back memories of my grandmother towards the end...so sad :( It is wonderful that your cousin sent you home with some precious treasures of hers.

    Not that you'd want to sell it but some of that hobnail milk glass is worth a bit of money. ( no, not an expert but I was amazed to see a cake dish like that on sale at the MISSION store for 150.00 a few months back! ) I inquired about it out of curiosity and the lady told me that it was such and such pattern or lot and they were going for far more on Ebay. Well I did not think anyone would buy it at full price but a week later when I stopped in, I saw that it was gone. So while yours is a keepsake it might also be a pricey antique. As I said I know nothing about milk glass and the patterns and all but this reminded me of the one at the mission store :)

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