I got a new curio cabinet for Christmas to replace the one I lost in the fire. Because of the carpet being replaced at the time of the blaze, the contents of my old cabinet had been emptied and wrapped and placed in a box. When we examined the damage, my curio had landed face down, shattered and destroyed, so it was a true miracle and blessing to know that everything that had once been neatly displayed inside was saved from utter destruction. It was 8 months yesterday since the fire happened, and today I proudly displayed the prized possessions I'd collected over the years in my new cabinet.
I unwrapped each piece and had to diligently clean ash and soot off of nearly every item. There are still permanent marks on some of the pieces - forever reminders of the fire that changed everything. After being packed away for almost a year, the smell of smoke still lingered. The hand-carved olive wood nativity I purchased while visiting Israel permeates the undeniable and unforgettable smell of smoke.
I carefully displayed each item, recalling the memory, person, or circumstance attached to each collectible. The first item I pulled from the box was an Amethyst Fenton vase. It had been Nanny's. We shared the amethyst birthstone with our birthdays only a week a part, and her love of purple was evident in her Fenton collection. It brought me to tears. The wave of emotion overcame me. Missing Nanny. Wishing she could see her great grandchildren and have spent Christmas with us like Poppy did. Recalling the fire and all this past year has brought. The destruction and demolition of one house. The building and starting over of another. Trials. Pain. Hurt. Loss. New Beginnings.
Today there's a new cabinet with a bunch of old and even tarnished pieces that hold new and old memories for me. On display, they hold no value to guests. But to me, they hold priceless memories of the past and hopeful promises for the future.