“Given With Love”

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My maternal grandmother gave me this doll in 1958 when I was eleven and she was sixty-eight. It had been a Christmas gift to her when she was a little girl, one of four little girls in her family, each of whom received one. The doll has a porcelain head, feet and hands and a kidskin body stuffed with sawdust. Remarkably well preserved, she sits on my bedroom dresser, greeting me each morning as I brush my hair. She now belongs to my eleven year old granddaughter who lets me keep it until she is certain she can keep it safe.

We treasure such gifts because we know that they were given with love. Without saying it in words, my grandmother was gifting me with something precious to her. I felt honored and recognized by her. She knew that I would treasure it. Now that she has been gone for forty years, I remember her and her love when I see that doll. Objects can connect us in that way. We can demean the attachment by calling it “sentimental,” but we can choose instead to enjoy the link they can form between us and the gift giver.

Looking around my house, I see many things that I have been given by those dear to me. A little blue glass bird came from an old neighbor who knew I needed cheering up. I am wearing sea otter socks, given me by my husband who knows I adore those animals. Look around your own place and think about the people who know you or knew you and gifted you with a little something to show their love for you. May you have joy in the remembering.

21 thoughts on ““Given With Love”

  1. My grandmother gave me a beautiful afghan she crocheted when I graduated from high school. I still have it and it always reminds me of her. I have many other little treasures and cards from my husband that I cherish.

  2. I did the reverse. I gave the doll to my grandmother. It’s a collectors item. I have never opened the package. My grandma has it in her room to this day. I gave it to her when I was a teen.

  3. So true. Small things, given for good reason, and treasured just for that. Hard to keep them all over the years, but the special ones can never be parted with.
    I always thought those type of dolls had spooky faces though! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. I have been wearing gold studs with uncut rubies for almost 15 years. They were my father’s mothers. She passed away when my father was only 12. When my parents got married in 1959 My grandfather gave it to my mother. I had always loved it. My mother had worn it for more than 40 years. One day she gave it to me. I have not seen my grandmother but she is still a part of my life, in more than one way.

  5. Absolutely. I’ve been writing our family history for years, and one day my daughter-in-law said when seeing so many heirlooms, artifacts, and antique furniture that she should write down what I tell her about each piece so she will remember. I was astonished, but very pleased at her interest. Our house is filled with the love you very nicely write about in this post. Thanks for sharing. ❤

    1. It is heartening that she wants the stories that go with things. My granddaughter is the same, as was I as a kid. Family history always needs at least one person to hold onto these things.

      1. My mother passed the torch to me, but I am pleased she still likes to know my latest discoveries. Good for you that your granddaughter is the same. That is heartwarming. ❤ Is she the only one in her generation?

  6. The doll is a wonderful heirloom! You are right: pleasure, gratitude, and storytelling for years to come is gleaned from wearing and living with the gifts we have receive from others.

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