Priceless

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What’s your most treasured possession?

The people in your life aren’t an option for this one. You can’t say your spouse or your children or your great aunt Sally. I’m talking an actual tangible item.

I’ll go first.

Mine is a set of two little ceramic Christmas mice. A boy mouse and a girl mouse with little red scarves around their necks. They have little pink noses and pink in their ears. Kinda strange huh….

They were my grandma’s. When I was little she would go all out decorating for the holidays. My grandparents had a big house with a huge wooden staircase – there was even a hidden staircase off the kitchen in the back – presumably the servant’s staircase originally. Anyway, it was a big awesome wonderful house with lots of rooms, super high ceilings and my favorite feature: a full wrap-around porch. I stayed with my grandparents a lot. I grew up in that house. But back to the mice…..

Every November I would get so excited when the boxes of holiday decorations would come out. I’m honestly not sure if they came up from the basement or down from the attic, but it really doesn’t matter – in my mind they just seemed to suddenly appear. And I knew what those boxes meant; they meant pine garland, wreaths on the doors, big bright lights on a tall full tree, stockings, candy canes, beautifully wrapped gifts, the smell of fresh baked cookies….and the mice. They had a place on the old electric organ every year without fail. And they were always the last piece of holiday decoration to be packed away when the new year rolled around. Those little mice were at every single holiday party and Christmas morning that we shared in that house.

My grandparents are both gone now. But I have the mice. I’ve only changed one little thing about them. They are no longer holiday decorations. They have a home in our kitchen year round. They sport their little red scarves not only in winter but all through the summer months too. I had a small meltdown once when my kids were playing something that I’m guessing I had asked them to take outside but before they obliged an errant toss ended up breaking my little boy mouse. The emotional reaction that I had was dramatic – and admittedly maybe a little over the top – but it was then that I realized the importance of those two little mice. We lovingly glued him back together and occasionally we add a little glue even now just to make sure all is well.

Those mice are more than just decorations. They are warm hugs that only my grandma could give, they are snuggling in the rocking chair with my grandpa watching boxing matches while he dipped his shoulders to avoid the punches. They are the smell of pine and cookies and my grandma’s perfume. They are the days when carolers came to your door and you weren’t afraid to open up to strangers. They are love, acceptance, loyalty, pride…..and memories.

I sure do love those mice.

Take a few minutes. It may be a tougher question than you first thought. But tell me about your treasured possession….I want to know.

 

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