Two cups of coffee in the mornin’

I spent several days last week in my childhood home in St. Louis. As I approached the driveway for the first time, I was greeted with a sign that made me groan upon seeing it for the first time. “For Sale,” the sign read.

We have spent 25 years in that house. Everyday of our childhood was spent roaming the woods around the house, swimming in the above ground pool (that Mom long since replaced with a nice patio and a hot tub), and playing basketball on the driveway, blackening the bottoms of our bare feet.

This weekend my little brother became a homeowner for the first time. Since my parents have built a home in Florida and pretty much fully furnished it, most everything in our childhood home is up for grabs. So, Chris became the lucky recipient of much furniture for his new home. But– it was a little bit sad to watch it go out the door… leaving an empty room, a sight we’ve not seen in the last quarter century. So, we fought over who got what (and my poor sister wasn’t even there to hold her own ground.) Some things were little, some things were big, but mostly I went for the things that have a history. Many of the items that came with my brother or I had long stories behind them, that I’d never heard told until this week. Chris’ guest room will be filled with a bed that belonged first to my Grandma, as her childhood bed, and then later as the first bed Grandma and Grandpa would sleep in after they were wed.

There is something about touching the very things that your family has treasured that allows you to feel connected with them, and to treasure not only the item, but treasure them more.

My Grandpa Jack died 11 years ago now. He was wracked with lung cancer. I remember him wasting away… and the horrible, horrible cough he suffered. For years, anytime I heard a cough like that in public, I would just shudder and become upset. I couldn’t handle hearing it. But I also have a very sweet memories of that time. My grandpa had lots of grandchildren, but I remember my mom telling my cousin Kelli and I that Grandpa wanted to see us. We timidly went back to the bedroom, sat down on the edge of his bed, and in his weakened state, he just had to tell us that we were “his angels.” We didn’t know how to respond at the time– it was too overwhelming, hard, and meaningful all at the same time, but now I treasure that little memory. The other was when the end was drawing near, we all piled in his bedroom and standing in a circle, decided to sing. We asked Grandpa what he wanted us to sing, and of all things, he said “Victory in Jesus.” Shew. It was powerful– and there was not a dry eye.

And so, when I drank my morning coffee at home, I asked about this mug– “Wasn’t this Grandpas?” My mom told me that it was his–Grefco was his employer. I can just sort of picture this mug sitting on his desk 50 years ago. Mom decided to pass down the mug to me, and as I drank my morning coffee today, I had to take pics to remember the small details of life that help us to remember the not-small details, like Grandpa.

And here’s my handsome Grandpa and his lovely wife:

And a few more from their wedding– I just can’t resist posting these.

One of my requests for my wedding was that we take a shot just like the one below. Ours is a little more steamy, though. 🙂

Love this! Rice throwing….

Thanks for sitting over a morning cup with me.

Want your own beautiful photos? I love Contact Jessica!

5 comments

Laina Lagomarcino You would make an excellent Writer’s Workshop teaching. Very simple, yet true to yourself and who/what you care about.

alicia so special. i just adore old wedding photographs, especially of handsome grandfathers 🙂

Tracy My parents had one of those mugs too. And I always thought of Uncle Jack whenever I saw it. Thanks for sharing, Jess. It means a lot.

Mom So glad I decided to pass the mug along to you. You wrote so eloquently of Grandpa. He would be so proud of you and what you have done with your life. Love you always! Keep doing what you are doing!

Aunt Paula Dearest Jessica,

I am so touched and will printing this out for my “Heritage Scrapbook” that is in the making. You brought back many precious memories. Thank you and I love you dearly. Aunt Paula

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