Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Symbol of Love

I have started and deleted this post several times in the last couple of days. I want to share this story with you but I don't want it to come off too materialistic or too sappy lovey dovey.... I'm going to try my best to tell it in just a Celebrating Love kind of way.

Quite a few years ago, my grandparents decided to go through their house and get rid of items they didn't need or use anymore. Without mentioning it to anyone, they loaded up their truck and set off for a local resale place. One of the items on the truck that day was an old Singer treadle sewing machine.

When I learned that Grandma Teacher and Grandpa Farmer had sold that old pedal operated machine, I was so sad. That old Singer had provided a livelihood for Grandma and her mother, Great Grandma when Great Grandpa passed away. Because it held such sweet sentimental value, it was a beautiful piece of our family's history. And now it was gone.

Many years have come and gone since Grandma and Grandpa sold that old sewing machine...and every once in a while I would see one like it or someone in the family would mention the story of Grandma and Grandpa selling it. Each time...without fail...I would get a little pang of sadness. I don't know why it bothered me so...but it did.

Saturday, Hubby and I decided to spend the afternoon antiquing. We don't do that very often. As a matter of fact it had been years since we had browsed through an antique store together. We don't own a lot of antiques, but we do enjoy searching through dusty old buildings and sharing in the delight of coming across something that sparks a childhood memory or is just unique and interesting.

Much of our Saturday afternoon was doing just that. We pointed out items that looked just like something from years long ago and we shared stories and laughter all afternoon. Hubby picked up an old extension light that he planned to put to good use in the garage and I found an awesome old purse that I carried to church the next day. We also discovered a couple of small items that would bring a smile to a family member's face and we felt quite successful with our handful of small purchases.

And then we spotted this:

When I saw it...I just stopped in my tracks. It looked so much like Great Grandma's sewing machine! It was so beautiful and it was marked way down! It was the lowest price I had ever seen on one of those machines. But really...it's not like we needed it. And let's be honest here...I certainly wasn't going to use it. 

Truthfully, I barely used the modern day sewing machine I owned for years early in our marriage. I'm not sure the two or three pairs of pants I hemmed and the three or four Halloween costumes I sewed on that machine were worth whatever we paid for it.

Could I justify wanting to purchase this sewing machine just for the sentimental value? We continued through that store and then moved on to the next one...but...of course...I kept thinking about that beautiful Singer. And you know...it could actually be my Great Grandma's machine. It's possible. Although there's no way to know for sure...we do currently live just an hour and half north of where my grandparents sold it. 

It is certainly plausible that it made it's way to this little shop in this little town in the years since it was sold. I like to think it did. I like to consider the idea that maybe...just maybe...this machine...this very piece...once belonged to my Great Grandma.

As Hubby and I left the final shop for the day, I mentioned that I was still thinking about that sewing machine. Hubby asked me if I really wanted it, but I said no...I really couldn't justify purchasing it. So we made the turn toward home. When I brought it up one more time...Hubby turned again...this time back toward the store. 

It was still there, so we loaded it up and brought it home. I wiped it down and Hubby helped me put it into place. We looked it over again marveling at all the wonderful details and sharing in the sweetness of the moment. It was home...maybe back in the family...right where it belonged.

Hubby has been very gracious to me over the years. He has given me many beautiful, thoughtful gifts. Some of them are very special. This is one of those very special, beautiful, thoughtful gifts. It was a true gift of the heart. We didn't need. I doubt I will use it. It was really just a very sweet way to Celebrate Love...for me, our family history, and my memories.

There are several reasons why this old Singer is special to me:
It represents a Great Grandma that I never even got to know here on earth.
It honors two women in my family that persevered through a terribly difficult time.
It is a reminder to me that I am never without options even when life might seem a little hopeless.
It is a symbol of my husband's sweet love for me. 

I hope you understand this story isn't so much about the object...it's about all that it symbolizes...it's about the feelings it evokes...and the memories that flash through my mind. 

And I know it's a bit sappy...but it comes straight from my heart...and well...what can I say? My heart...can be a bit sappy at times.

Call me sentimental...I'm okay with that.

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