Precious Treasures

As I am writing my third children’s book, I am reminded of so many precious items that I kept of my children.  This book is in honor of my daughter, Brandi and I hope to send it off soon to my illustrator. I would like to share with you my curio cabinet full of these treasures.

The top shelf displays a ceramic wrestler.  This is actually my husband, Todd’s, precious treasure.  He wrestled in high school and college and this was a gift to him.  I see it and it makes me smile knowing how much he loves the sport. Minnie Mouse is a coin bank which was one of Brandi’s cherished gifts from our last Florida vacation.  Then there are miscellaneous angel statues in the cabinet, most were gifts to me after the deaths of my children.  

The ceramic baby rattle is a small flower pot. My paternal grandmother gave this to my mother when I was born and I can imagine it had a beautiful flower arrangement in it.  Beanie Babies were the rage years ago and the angel bear was given to me by a close friend.

The second shelf displays two more of my Beanie Babies, the tigers. The Bengal Tiger is my favorite animal and has been since I was a child.  I have pictures and figurines throughout my home. Jarod’s last school picture, as well as the last pictures of Sean and Brandi that I had done by a photographer.  I remember how excited Brandi was to get all dressed up in her new ruffles. The clay bowl was made by Sean in one of his art classes.  It doesn’t matter what the art piece looks like, if your child made it, it is the most precious of gifts a mother can receive.  

My author copies (the first printed book) of Healing Tears in hard and soft copy are in my cabinet.  I remember the excitement and emotions I felt when I opened the box of my first published book.  My hands shook and tears rolled down my cheeks as I looked at my finished work.  

The rose is my favorite flower and red is my favorite color.  My step-brother, Tom, gave me that beautiful glass rose which sits on a mirror for a Christmas present many years ago.  It reminds me of the love between siblings.

The angel on the cloud is a musical porcelain Precious Moment™ figurine.  I started collecting Precious Moment™ figurines when I was in the US Air Force.  I found joy in these beautiful little boy and girl statues.

Third shelf holds the graduation photo of my brother Brian, who passed away in a tractor accident when he was 19 years old.  Another precious soul taken from our family so young. I miss him so much.

One of Sean’s school projects was the sewn duck.  He was so proud of his finished sewing project.  More angels – another Precious Moment™ angel sitting on a cloud, the porcelain white angel head with flowers is actually a nightlight.  This was a gift to Brandi from her godmother, Kim, when she was baptized.  Brandi turned her light on every night before bedtime.  Part of my ancestry is Native American on my mother’s side, part of the Chippewa tribes in Michigan.  The Native American angel is part of a larger collection I have.

The picture is from the last Easter I had with the children.  Brandi, her baby doll, and I all wore matching dresses.  These dresses were made by my aunt and Brandi was so excited when we went to church.  She greeted the parishioners by the front door and wanted to tell them about her Melissa doll and her dress.

The fourth shelf holds the three wonderful teddy bears that were placed on my front lawn after my children died.  I do not know who gave them to me but thank you, whoever you are.  These three bears were a comfort to me for months during my initial grief.  I don’t know how many times I held the three and cried myself to sleep.

Swimer Man!  No, this is not a misspelling.  After Sean finished his molding of his swimmer man, he missed the extra m on the name of his art piece.  Sean and I always laughed when we talked about Swimer Man.

The August angel was given to me from my grandmother.  She had the birth month angel for each of her granddaughters.  When Grandma had to downsize and move to an apartment, she wanted to be sure that her granddaughters received their angel.

My second children’s book is Ornaments of Love.  This book was written from Sean’s point of view and shares one of our family traditions of decorating the Christmas tree with cherished ornaments – handmade ones from the kids they made for me at school, crocheted ones from my maternal grandmother, gifts to the kids, or ones from my travels.

The little rabbit with the peach ribbons use to sit on Brandi’s dresser.  It matched the quilt that was given to her by my friend, Pat, when she was born.  This quilt is on the bottom shelf of the cabinet.  Each of my children had a special quilt on each of their beds.  

On the bottom of the cabinet are Brandi’s dolls.  Meagan is a replacement doll since her original doll was buried with her, along with her Shu shu (small blanket). The Melissa doll still wears the dress from our last Easter together.  The necklace on Melissa was Brandi’s favorite little gold heart.

I read to my children most nights and Jarod’s favorite book was the Berenstein Bears Nursery Tales book.  I kept this book along with a few other favorites of the kids and they are on my bookshelf awaiting a time to read to my future grandchildren.  The sitting little girl is a ceramic nightlight, also a gift from my grandmother.

I Love and Like You! was the first children’s book I published.  Jarod tells the story of understanding the difference between loving and liking someone or behavior.  It was so important to him to tell me every night, “I love and like you Mom.”  

In my quiet moments, I like to sit in my wingback chair with my feet propped up on the matching ottoman and just look at my treasures in the cabinet.  Sometimes I cry as my heart aches for my children, my brother and my grandmother, but more times than not I smile and remember the love we all shared and the precious memories.