Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Hope Chest

by Carol H.



On her wedding day in 1923 she received this Hope Chest from her sisters, who had traded food ration stamps for it. She was 15 years old.

The chest became a vessel where she put her hopes and dreams for safe keeping. The hope of a happy life. Dreams of having children, all girls, and becoming a painter.

As she came to the end of her days she realized that her life was a happy  one, though not in the way she had imagined all those years ago. Her hobby was painting and she was quite good, but her work was never exhibited. She had children too. Not girls, but three boys. Her first grandchild was a girl though, and they were very close. They would often sit on the floor in front of the hope chest. She would pull her hopes and dreams from the chest, one by one, and tell her story to the young girl. On her 15th birthday, the young girl received a gift from her grandmother. The Hope Chest. In it was a small doll and a teddy bear. "What are these for?" the girl asked. "For seed" said the grandmother.



As you read this I am on a road trip from Seattle, WA to Redwood City, CA to deliver my grandmother’s Hope Chest to my niece. She has two young girls so it feels right to be giving the chest to her. The memories that were contained within are firmly planted in my mind, to be recalled fondly and often. It is time for this chest to be filled with new hopes and dreams, though it is not being delivered empty. It does hold a doll and a teddy bear. For seed.



14 comments:

Carol said...

Ok Carol, I have literally been awake for 5 minutes and my cheeks are already covered with tears! This is beautiful. Respect, generosity, tradition, family, Love Love Love. -they are all here in your post, and obviously in your family.Thanks for sharing.
Peace

Sarah Huizenga said...

So beautiful! You have told this story so wonderfully. What a treasure to keep passing along from generation to generation.

Katie said...

yes, it is a treasure, such a beautiful one, too. lovely story to wake up to this morning.

AFishGirl said...

Beautiful to hear this.

kelly said...

carol, this is such a beautiful story. one i can totally relate to...i have a hope chest that belonged to my great-grandmother. i love how it makes me feel connected to her even though she's been gone for so many years. such a treasure for your to pass your family's legacy on to your nieces.

heyjudephotography said...

A post filled with love and kindness and family pride. What a special gift! Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

Cathy H. said...

Such a touching post! I can feel your love for this chest, a little bit of sadness that you're parting with it, and yet, an excitement to share it with someone else! Beautifully written and illustrated!

Maribeth Huffaker said...

Thank you Carol, for sharing such a wonderful story!

Linda said...

This is a wonderful story! Such a meaningful tradition! Thanks for sharing it with us! Enjoy your trip!

Dotti said...

A beautiful story, beautifully told. A beautiful heirloom, lovingly shared. You, my friend, are beautiful also.

terriporter said...

I loved reading this! Such a wonderful story. I know when I was a young girl I wanted a hope chest in the worst way! I never got one and ended up having sons (like you) so I wouldn't have had anyone to hand it down to. So happy you have your niece to pass this tradition on to. Have a safe and wonderful trip and thanks for sharing this story with us.

Barbara said...

This has me teary. What a treasure!

Angela said...

What wonderful stories and memories to pass to each generation.

stamper2 said...

I love traditions. This one seems especially tender, and filled with such love. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me how treasured our traditions are!

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