Through our Journal’s Heirloom series, we’ve been exploring the things we value and why we hold them dear. Each story reveals the value of tradition and honors possessions that were made to last. While these items may not be valuable to the world-at-large, to the owner they are priceless.
This week, Kasey, our Production Coordinator for the Alabama Chanin collection shares memories of the clock she inherited from her grandmother.
My grandmother, Peggy Louise, was a mother of 6, grandmother of 14, and great-grandmother of 17 – and she somehow knew how to make each of us feel special. The time we spent together was filled with food, stories, and – above all – laughter.
She was born in Esther, Missouri, in 1935 and was the youngest of 4 girls. She lost her mother when she was only 4, so she always knew the value of family. My grandmother concentrated on school and graduated high school as salutatorian. Shortly thereafter, she married her high school sweetheart and moved to St. Louis. My grandfather’s job moved their growing family from state to state, across Illinois, Arkansas, Louisiana, and eventually Alabama.
As a child, I remember this clock hanging in the back bedroom of my grandparents’ house. It was the brightest object in the room, so it was hard to miss. I must have been about 10 at the time and my sister and I were spending the night with my grandmother. We were walking through the house listening to her stories, and my grandmother matter-of-factly reminded us to remember her words, because one day she would be gone. Then she turned to us and asked (as grandmothers occasionally do) what we might want to have of hers, as a remembrance.
My sister immediately went to the family room to a glass box that held a beautifully dressed doll. My grandmother delicately removed the glass and wrote my sister’s name on the bottom of the doll stand. When it was my turn, I struggled with my choice. To choose meant that I had to accept that one day my grandmother would be gone. My eyes darted to the clock on the wall, but I said nothing. My grandmother nodded, removed the clock from the wall, and scribbled my name across the back.
My grandmother passed away in 2008. I’ll never know why I chose that clock as a remembrance, or understand how she knew that it was supposed to be mine. But, today as it hangs in my home, it is a reminder of just how precious time with family truly is.
Thanks to Kasey for sharing memories of Peggy Louise and what her heirloom means to her.