Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Priceless Story

I love old things. I do. Some people look at it as junk, but I look at it as a story waiting to be told.

I find it so utterly fascinating that every old object, picture, letter, etc. has a story. Even if I have no personal connection to it, I still would love to know the backstory to it. The people, the places, the events that unfolded...I want to hear it all. When it does have a personal connection to me, then I'm really enthralled.

Last month we moved my parents out of their home they've lived in for the past 36 years. During the downsizing process my parents often asked one of us,"Does anyone want this?" Many times my first response was,"Did this come from someone in the family?" If so, my interest in that object instantly increased at least ten-fold not only because it was something old, but it was owned by someone in my family. Those objects were part of my history...from people that helped shape and mold generations before, and in turn, me in a way. There are two objects now in my possession that I absolutely love. 

The date on this appears to be June 7, 1925. 

The first one was my Grandpa Meyer's trunk. My Grandpa, Henry Meyer, was born in 1907. This trunk was used to ship all his things to college at then Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. I love this trunk because not only does it look cool, but it amazes me that he sent all his belongings in a trunk. Nowadays people load up Uhaul trucks to move into college dorms. Now that I live in New Ulm, it is like the trunk is "back home" in a way. 

This wasn't one of the two objects I was thinking about, but had to throw in this beauty while discussing packing for college. My dad also went to school in New Ulm during the 60s. Like some other students, he didn't have a place to get his laundry done, so he sent his laundry back home to get cleaned. Yes, he used this little suitcase to mail his dirty laundry home. We all wondered what he wore while he was waiting for it to come back. :)

The other treasured possession switches to my mom's side of the family, and it is my Grandma Scharf's charm bracelet. I have never thought of myself as a charm bracelet kind of person, but I very much wanted a piece from a woman that I so greatly admired. My Grandma, Irene Scharf, was a quiet, but very strong, devoted Christian woman. Her bracelet shows many aspects of her...all the love and care that she showed to those she loved whether it was at home or at work.

Engraved on the back of  the mustard seed charm, "If ye have faith as a mustard seed...
nothing shall be impossible unto you." Matthew 17:20

There is no possible way for me to sum up in this blog the stories that I remember from my grandparents, or the ones that I'd love to know. I regret the times when I was younger that I didn't take time to listen longer or ask them more questions. While there will be stories left untold, I am confident in one thing that has been carried from generation to generation on both sides of my family...their love of our Savior and what He has done for us. Their foundation was their faith, and that is why I love that one of the charms on my Grandma's charm bracelet is a mustard seed. What my great-grandparents instilled in my grandparents was passed on to my parents, then to me. Out of all the stories I've been told, this is what I hold on to most dearly, and am making sure my children will hold dear to their hearts as well.

Possibly my favorite wedding present we received was a scrapbook my sisters made. It had messages, marriage advice and funny stories about marriage they had compiled from our friends and family. My Aunt Marie, who knows my love of family history added in wedding pictures from former generations. I love that present and will treasure it forever. When I was looking for pictures for this blog I reread what she had written to us. I thought it was so fitting I had to include it here.

What story are you passing on to those you know and love? While a cool trunk or charm bracelet are awesome heirlooms to hold onto now, nothing compares to the precious story we carry in hearts and the comfort of knowing that we will all be reunited someday in heaven. No antique dealer would ever be able to put a price on that.

Simply put...you can't put a price tag on some things.

P.S. I added a few wedding pictures for any family reading that were interested. I can share more if you'd like...just let me know! They go back several generations...

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