In my home I have a handful of objects that would appear quite ordinary to anyone else, but to me, these items hold great sentimental value. As Thanksgiving approaches, these pieces serve as a reminder to give thanks and to appreciate how fortunate I am.
Wooden jewelry box – My grandma gave me this jewelry box when I was four. It’s tiny and has made in Japan painted on the bottom. It doesn’t hold very much but yet it’s been a constant fixture in my dorm rooms and in every home thereafter. Every time I see this jewelry box, I think of my grandmother, every lesson she taught me and how fortunate I am to have spent many hours with her. From the simplest of etiquette (always graciously accept food which has been prepared for you, you do not need to eat it all but you do need to eat a portion and express your gratitude and appreciation) to the more complex (acceptance of those different from ourselves). The jewelry box reminds me of her, it’s petite and humble yet solid and genuine.
A 1947 edition of Little Women – This was my mother’s copy of Little Women when she was a little girl. We brought it to Hawaii from Ohio when I was seven. It wasn’t the only book we brought home but it is the only book from our trip that still remains today. Like my jewelry box, this book has moved when I moved and has always been displayed, not packed away. It’s not in mint condition, in fact, one could describe it as falling apart. My beloved Little Women is symbolic of my love for reading and writing, a gift of my upbringing. Growing up, we went to the library each Wednesday and the bookstore each Friday. This love not only brings me joy but also has been the foundation for my performance in school and my career, in every aspect of my life.
Patchwork blanket – My grandmother made my blanket from scraps of material when I was born. It’s colorful, a combination of aloha print, dainty florals and kimono fabrics bordered by the most wonderful pink. I’ve taken it to the beach in college, even used it at the Waikiki Shell when attending outdoor concerts. In my 20s, I didn’t appreciate how precious it is. I now keep it carefully folded and stored in my closet. My blanket is beautiful because it’s like no other and it’s strong because it was handmade with love and pride. My blanket reminds me to be my own person and to be thankful for my differences which make me unique.
Do you have any sentimental objects, which speak to your history or serve as a reminder of certain life lessons?