A story about two beautiful heirloom gifts from a very special person that arrived unexpectedly.
I'm eyeing the calendar and trying to figure out a way to slow down time. Unfortunately, that's difficult to do with a preschooler in the house. Especially a preschooler who knows her days of the week and months of the year... and one who knows that we're less than two weeks away from her fourth birthday.
At some point soon, I'll need to finish the menu for her birthday party and make a list of decorations we'll need to buy. I'll have to get her a special birthday outfit. Preferably one that's pink... Because pink is her favorite color. We'll also need to clean this place from top to bottom. This party, after all, will be the first get-together we'll be hosting in our new house.
Lots to do. And lots to be excited about.
But part of me can't help but be sad about all this... and not only because my baby girl is another year older. Because every time we host a party, I remember that one very important guest is missing.
It's been 16 years since my mother passed away. And it hurts to think about all the moments she's missed... all the memories she hasn't been able to create with her grandchildren. I've been sharing bits and pieces of her with them ever since they were born (see here and here)... Singing the songs she used to sing. Cooking the food she used to cook. Upholding the traditions that she had created. But I know it's not the same thing.
If I had to be honest, though... It's likely I'm doing those things for my sake more than for theirs. It's hard for them to miss someone they never met.
One of the special ways I keep her spirit present in our lives is to use the wedding gifts she gave us as much as possible. One of those gifts was a set of lead crystal tiered cake stands. Those stands have made many appearances in my freelance pieces... and they've been on display at every one of Caroline's birthday parties.
Now that I know the birthday girl wants cupcakes again this year, I'll put Mom's cake stands on the table again. But this party will be a bit different because we'll have a little more of her spirit in the house with us this year.
Because she didn't just plan out special gifts for me and my future husband before she died... Because she also planned out special gifts for my future children... Gifts that my aunt kept safe until the time was right.
Growing up, I was one of my mother's favorite shopping partners. She used to love this one shop in our hometown that sold unfinished furniture. Somehow... In the little time that she had left in this world, she found the energy to go shopping for her future grandchildren.
She bought a beautiful rocking horse and rocking chair... somehow predicting that I'd have two children. She then brought the items home, stained them, and made a cushion for the rocking chair...
Even to this day, my mother continues to prove why she was my hero... She continues to show me the power of a mother's love.
Although they never knew her, my children will always have a piece of her to cherish. And her memory will live on.
One year ago: Everyday Reminders to Say "I Love You"
Two years ago: Menu Plan: February 26 - March 4
Three years ago: Ninja City - Cleveland, OH
Four years ago: The Burgery Company - Emmaus, PA
Five years ago: Quinoa Salad with Sourdough Croutons
Six years ago: Market by Jean-Georges - Boston, MA
Seven years ago: Spinach and Gruyere Quiche
Eight years ago: Simple Olive Oil Drop Biscuits
Nine years ago: Merlot Cream Cheese Brownies
Ten years ago: Valentine's Day Brunch at Tournesol
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