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  • Writer's pictureJane Leder

Your Most Cherished Object

A friend sent me a link to, a site where anyone can submit a short 250-word or less story about their most cherished object. Many of the contributors wrote about a cherished object from childhood or the first gift from their husband/wife/partner.

This got me thinking: What is my most cherished object? The photo of my brother and me as kids before he went off the rails and ultimately took his own life? What about the family Bible published around 1854 and, most likely, brought to America by my paternal great-great-grandfather who immigrated from Poland. I think.

Years before she passed away, my mother commissioned a genealogist to write what became a two-volume tome that traces the history of her (my) family. The red-covered books weigh a ton. Just getting them down from an upper shelf in my office closet is like pumping iron at a local gym. (Remember when we could go to a gym?) Aside from their heft, the books are a maze of information that takes a Google map to find what you're looking for.

I walked around my house in search of my most precious object. I considered a number of paintings, African and Mexican masks, wood carved animals also from Mexico. There was no way I could choose just one. I continued my journey. There was the lock of my baby hair tucked away in an envelope that had somehow survived three-quarters of a century. And there were the bronzed baby shoes. Important mementos but nowhere close to the most precious.

I'm sure that when I mentioned a most precious object many of you knew exactly what you'd choose. Not me. I'd like to think that as I've aged I'm less and less attached to things. Maybe yes, maybe no. I'll have to work on that but later.

I sat in one of the Herman Miller lounge chairs that my parents had given me many years before they passed away. How about a chair? Naw. I scanned the living room and realized that so much of the furniture had belonged to my parents. I felt blessed all over again for all that they had given me.

I thought about a piece of jewelry. My wedding ring? A favorite necklace? An antique pair of earrings? All lovely, but nothing stood up as the MOST precious.

I was stuck and beginning to think that there was something wrong with me, that gifts or mementos meant nothing. I didn't have a connection to my past or to the people or to myself who had gifted me. But in my heart, I knew that wasn't true.

After scouring my office, my bedroom, I took the backstairs that lead to the kitchen. A plant I've tended for years? I stared out the western-facing windows that look out on the backyard. I love my garden, I really do. But I can't see a thing except for the snow. We got pounded with 18 inches in two days of almost constant snow and wind. I'd have to wait until summer.

But then I looked up. There was a lovely piece of stained glass made by my mother. She was maybe in her early seventies when she took her first stained-glass class. She proudly hung the butterfly she'd crafted on the sliding glass windows. That was just the beginning. She set up an area in a second bedroom as a work area with a long table stacked with all of her supplies. She poured all of her artistic talents and visions into doors and flower vases, boxes perfect for jewelry, lampshades. You name it, she could make it. She began taking commissions. I told her that she could go into business. She just laughed.

So, as I stared up at the rectangular piece of glass in purples and pinks and even some very light aqua--glass adorned with circles and triangles and curved lines that resemble a winding piece of rope that runs horizontally across the entire piece and ties it together as one, I knew that I'd found my most precious object.

I've done my best to capture the window but, it's a cloudy winter day with snow everywhere. Not a ray of sun to backlight the glass.

My mother the artist and my precious stained glass window. I loved it when I chose it many years ago. And I love it still.

I'd love to know your most precious object. Add a note to the Comment section below. If I get enough responses, I'll post them.

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Sue Hepker
Sue Hepker
17 feb 2021

It's beautiful Jane! Now I know the origin of the genes that gave you your artistic sensibilities. Perhaps that is the most precious object...

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