Saturday, June 14, 2014
My Mother's China
I still can't believe she left it to me. Not that I didn't read her detailed, hand-written will, but for some reason, it just hadn't registered. Not until several weeks ago when baby sis said, 'I'll be happy to take that china off your hands if you don't want it' did I understand that my mother's china - one of her most prized possessions - was now mine.
Growing up in poverty, Mom tried all of her life to escape its stamp on her identity. She was beautiful, well read and gracious in ways I will never be, but growing up poor scarred her. Marrying my dad was her ticket to a better life. I can only imagine all of the hopes and dreams she had while working to save money for her wedding china. Its pattern and functionality suited her well and she used the large casserole dish often. The rest of the china rarely came out, but when it did, the occasion was instantly made special. We grew up knowing that Mom's china, and all it represented, was treasured.
B-man went with me to pack the china and bring it home. He owned this task as if he was born to do it, wrapping everything carefully before fitting it perfectly into small boxes. Once home, we realized that some rearranging was in order before it would fit into our cabinet. So the china sat, still boxed, in our dining room as we planned one day after another to tackle the project together.
Yesterday, I arrived home from work to see towels spread all over the counter in our kitchen. I knew immediately what had happened. B-man had taken the afternoon to gently wash each piece of my mother's china and arrange it in our cabinet. He was placing the last platter as I walked in. It's even more beautiful than I remember.
I wish I could tell Mom how much her china means to me and how this last gesture of her affection touched my heart. I wish I could express to my husband, beyond just words, how much he means to me and how deeply he has changed my life. What I truly understand now more than ever before is both simple and profound: I am well loved.
Photos my own