Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Lamp Story

Have you ever had someone in your life that leaves you with an imprint that you carry with you.

When I was a child, I remember my Aunt's house, modest as it was, it always seemed to remind me of something out of 'Home and Gardens' The decor was not the most attractive part of the house, it was its warmth. My Aunt always seemed so full of love, always looking forward to welcoming people into her home. It was the kind of place where you didn't even feel that you needed to knock.

A lot of the things in her house are deep in my memories. Her decorative glass lamps shimmering in the brightness of her sunporch. Her basement, where I got to sample my first television remote control (it worked by producing these loud clicking sounds). The kitchen with their familiar decorations. Familiar treats every holiday season. Religious imagery throughout the house. I came to love the memories that greeted me like old familiar friends every thing I entered there. More than the things, my memories of how happy she always was to see me, and any family that came with me.

Her life was rough at times. She quit her job to take care of both her mother-in-law and later her mother, when they both suffered from frailties toward the end of their lives. All her labor never seemed to tarnish her enthusiasm to see me, and others. Her husband always in the background, a loving companion.

They eventually moved from the small house that held so many warm memories for me, and moved to a lovely spot on a small lake. I was so happy for them when they did this. One of the great things about it was that my Uncle's love to go fishing could be more frequently indulged. The new place made that so much easier.

Some years passed. My Aunt really was at a point where she should not be on her own. Luckily my Uncle was around. Sometimes he would have a bout with not feeling well. I'd worry about them both sometimes. My Uncle recently got very ill. He went for surgery and things did not look good at all. It got to the point where neither of them could really fully care for themselves well, so the both went into an assisted living type of place. My Uncle, unfortunately passed away during that short time.

Visiting their house after their departure was very awkward for me. I had certain memories brought back when I'd see some of the things in the house. One of my cousins is handling the property for them. She told I was welcome to any keepsakes that I desired. I picked up a few items that I had given them through the years as gifts, never thinking I'd be taking them back.

The house had framed religious portraits framed throughout most of their rooms. They even had a crucifix on one of the bedroom walls that would be the envy of some churches. These items were uniquely theirs, and as much as I would have live to have brought these things with me, I really have no place to put such things where they can be appreciated. If I were phenomenally wealthy, sure I'd have a large room in my house filled with this kind of stuff, and a pool, and a rose garden, and a gymnasium, and an auditorium, etc. Yeah, right. A place something like the Hammond Castle in Gloucester is rather to my taste.

At any rate, I get home and kind of spout out some thoughts going through the back of my mind. Since I was a kid I always admired the "Last Supper" picture that they kept up in their dining area. I thought about that as a keepsake, but where would I put it? I certainly don't want it so I can simply put it in storage. And the lamps that were on the sunporch. I'd really like one...But.

The answer I get is if you say no you will never have the opportunity to see these things again. If you say yes can make a place for them. So I call up my cousin, mention the picture. She says that she will make sure it stays there until I pick it up. I then describe the lamp. She says 'no'... Huh? Well, she pretty much brought me to tears. Not that I was upset with hearing that, but rather I was happy to hear the reason she gave. Seems that this particular lamp is going down to stay with my Aunt (I didn't know they could do this) along with a few of my Aunt's personal furniture. It makes me so happy to know that she can have these things there!

And as far as my desire to have the lamp goes, there is really no issue there at all. You see, besides that, there were other matching lamps. I've actually brought the other two lamps here.

Now when I'm sitting here under the lamplight, I can imagine her doing the same under a matching lamp. This gives my a bit of solace, and in some bizarre way, helps me feel connected. Sweet.