My mother-in-law gave me this vase when she celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary. Yes, she gave me a gift. She gave it to me, gosh, years ago. She passed away last year. I have not had that vase out of the box since she gave it to me. I had it stored in a closet.
I’ve been discarding, weeding out and lightening up for a year now and that vase keeps getting shuffled from place to place. It’s one of those sentimental, emotionally charged items I’ve talked about. I couldn’t give it away. I couldn’t sell it and I just haven’t had the time or presence of mind to be that person who keeps fresh, cut flowers in their home. I used to be, but life got too crazy for me to keep up that practice.
But I keep challenging myself with 2 ideas: Every thing must have a place (not shoved in the back of a closet) and If I own something I want it to be used or out where I can see it and enjoy it.
So, after making another sweep in the storage closet, after years of being in its box, I pulled the vase out and said, “If I’m going to keep this I’m going to enjoy it.” I know my mother-in-law didn’t give it to me just to hide it in a closet. So, I put it on the island in my kitchen (which happens to be like the epicenter of my home). And for the first time in, probably years, I bought a bouquet of yellow, happy flowers and put it in the vase.
Picking out those flowers, putting them in the vase, seeing the sun spark life in that beautiful glass vase and thinking about my mother-in-law and how much she loved flowers brought such peace and joy to my heart.
In the busy-ness, sadness and constant change of my life over the past few years I have had to become the person others needed me to be. I have put aside parts of myself to care for others. I didn’t have time to buy flowers, change out water and replace them with fresh ones. That would be just another annoying item on my to-do list.
But yesterday that vase (and my mother-in-law) have reminded me that there’s a part of who I am – the person who enjoys having fresh flowers in the house – that I need to welcome back into my life.
Here’s to simple joys!