Monday, September 2, 2013

Sacramental (Big Words)

These tangible memories of my mother
are not just sentimental.
To me, they are almost sacramental:
symbolic of her essence and  
powerfully binding, in a good way.

It started simply as a place to display the bird figurines I brought home after my mother passed away in July.  I cleared the top shelf of one of my bedroom book cases and arranged to my heart's content.

Then the sympathy cards...

Then blanket made by church members 
while she was in the 
hospital those long weeks.

And her sewing box, 
which may also have been
my Grandma Hess's sewing box.

 Next, the vintage books.
I only brought several home this time,
but I had more from previous trips,
as well as a shelf full of my father's.

Many of the vintage books are inscribed
with the beautifully handwritten names
of my grandparents and great-grandparents.

I added their photos to the shelves today...

Charles and Mary Graves Hess
with two of their children

Coray and Olive Ransom

My great-grandmother Olive Wrislar Ransom 
and my grandmother Dorothy Ransom Hess

This pocket watch,
found in the sewing basket,
is etched with the initials OEW.
That would be Olive's.

From Mom's kitchen to mine,
the star shaped baking molds
which I've been using,
this time for blueberry muffins.

 And the mini-heart tins I gave her years ago...

And finally, in other places around the house,
the stained glass pieces,
all gifts from my mother...

The mirror, a college graduation present,
which I rehung today.

The rainbow dove, a first anniversary present
to match a window in the fellowship hall 
of the church where we were married

Nativity scene

The camellia and magnolia stained glass

There is more,
like her clothes and necklaces I've been wearing,
but that is enough to show for now.

As the months go by, I will rearrange again,
put things away from this makeshift shrine.
But I will never forget.

Her real legacy 

was her love.

My mother, Mary Graves Hess Quarrier
and my grandmother, Dorothy Ransom Hess,
in July 2013

Tributes to my Mom:

Strength in Hymn

(all related to Mom)

This post is the second in my new Big Words series.  The first: Sanctuary.

Grace and peace,

Virginia Knowles


  1. What a wonderful remembering of your mother... keepsakes and heirlooms are so important to us especially after someone we love passes on.
    They are priceless.

  2. Hi Virginia,

    Thank you for visitng my blog! This is a lovely post.

    I can see that we have similar taste in books. I have a book by Emilie Loring, but have not read it yet. I hope to soon.

    May you have a blessed day!



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