When my sister and I cleaned out our parents’ home, we had to make many decisions about what to do with all the stuff. Which things are truly “valuable” and which have only sentiment in their favor? Should we sell it, keep it, or throw it away? To help ensure a future for our family’s heirlooms, I plan to leave a booklet for my daughters telling the stories of what they will inherit one day. (Not TOO soon, I hope!) With this challenge I begin my book of Heirlooms.
is for iron fireplace grate.
It belonged to my great-grandmother Mary Sudie Eppard Rucker. I am trying to imagine the day in 1958 when my grandmother and her sister and brothers stood around picking over their freshly-deceased mother’s dishes, her jewelry, her furniture and whatever else. My grandmother inherited many fine items, but did she really want Sudie Rucker’s fireplace grate?
I guess so.
Whether my grandparents used it in their fireplace I do not remember, but my sister insists it was IN our fireplace when we lived in Cradock and that it followed us to “the new house” in 1971.
A little over 50 years after my grandmother volunteered to take the fireplace grate, my sister and I stood staring at it, debating who would get it. Throwing it away was not an option - it had age, it had family history even if we didn’t know what that history was. I’m pretty sure I grunted and said, “What am I going to do with it?” But my sister had a vision for its use.
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