Wednesday, April 4, 2001    


Pink Glass Elephants

By:Mary Imm

My parents died 2 weeks apart about 6 years ago. My husband was working out of the state, the only family nearby was my son- and he was only 12. Needless to say it was a very hard time. I got by looking at photos, going thru their things. Holding tight the silly things- an old sweater, perfume that my mother wore, and a couple of pink glass elephants. Of course, I did keep odds and ends that I'd been told were handed down by grandparents (that I'd never known).

My son would look at those things and didn't have any idea why I was so worried about those items. He had no idea I'd played with those elephants. He didn't know about his great grandparents. He had grown up hundreds of miles away from cousins, aunts, uncles. He had my parents & me. He had no sense of any extended family. Friends, sure, but I knew he needed a sense of why he was like he was. Who he looks like, where they come from. I tried talking to him, but at 12, most boys don't sit still long enough to ask how school is, let alone tell him what I know about our family history. Time grew tighter as he grew older.

About a year ago, I saw an ad for scrapbooks on TV. I ordered one. It arrived and I thought I'd put pictures in it. Yes, just put pictures in. Sounds funny to say that now. I looked on line, found all these wonderful helpful people who explained what scrapbooking meant to them.

I'd finally found a way to tell the story of our family. Bits & pieces of special times- how my mother was divorced from her 1st husband and married to my dad- BEFORE she told her father. How my dad lost his false teeth swimming in the river when he was 14 and offered a quarter to the 1st one who found them. About Uncle Paul, who died near my 13th birthday. Happy times, sad and everything in between. And yes, tell of playing with those pink elephants.

I know names and dates are inmportant to some, but to me & hopefully my son, and his children it'll be the tales of the family. What makes us unique. Eveyone has old pictures, but how many of us have the stories behind them? I want him to know his family has a sense of humor. Hopefully I'll live to a ripe old age, but if not, I want my great grandchildren to know all of us. Not just what we look like, but what makes us who we are. Hmmm, wonder if I've ever mentioned to my son that I played the french horn....

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: What do I love most about, by By Sherri, OH

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