Poignant Passdowns

Poignant Pass-Downs

The things we inherit from Mom - besides her mannerisms, her nose, and her favorite phrases.

As I was frantically trying to decide what to get my mom for Mother’s Day (ended up going with a set of lobster crackers – known to fellow New Englanders as ‘lobstah crackahs.’), I started thinking about the things that she’s given to me.

For my 30th birthday, my mom gave me her red leather jewelry box, embossed with her initials. I have so many memories of scrambling underneath her bed to pull out this box so I could pile on all of the ‘sparklies’ inside of it and parade around the house, feeling like a princess. Now, it sits on top of the vanity table in my bedroom – which was once my grandmother’s! – and is filled with jewelry that I’ve acquired from varying family members over the years.

That box also contains my mother’s pearls, which she gave to me when I got engaged. I wore them on my wedding day, carefully removing them after our photos were taken so there was no chance of the string breaking. I’m clumsy like that.

It goes without saying that my most treasured possessions are items that once belonged to my mother, and when I started asking around the office, I discovered that plenty of other Plum District ladies feel the same way. From Louis Vuitton bags that are timeless tributes to your family’s stylish lineage (Anna Lipshaw: Lead District Consultant, Bay Area) to custom capes that Mom meticulously designed and created as 4-H projects (Kate Goepferd – Site Manager, Midwest Region), the most special gifts from Mom are ones that once belonged to her.


GALLERY: Treasures passed from Mom to Mom [click on photos to enlarge]:

Shannon Vetter – District Consultant, Maryland:

“My grandmother, mother and I were all married using the same ring.  When my mother was married, her mom gave it to her and she decided to use it for the ceremony.  When I was married, my mom then offered it to me.  How could I turn it down?  It already carried 79 years of marriage in it!

It’s a simple gold band but it means more to me than anything.  Its inscription, J.B.C. to P.J.A. 6-16-45, also means C.S.N. to S.J.C 12/31/66 and F.J.V. to S.C.N 5/27/95.

When my beloved grandmother passed away in 1999, as the oldest grandchild I inherited her mother’s wedding ring.  My grandmother wore that ring for as long as I can remember and it is so special to me to wear it now.  Its inscription is J.B.C. to A.W. Sept. 26, 1889.

When I think about the hands on which these rings were worn, all the places they have been, all the meals they have prepared, all the children’s backs they have rubbed, all the words they have written, all the music they have played, all the gardens they have tended, all the toys they have put away and all the faces they have held, I am inspired to live up to their legacy and make these rings and their owners proud.”

Helen Connor – Regional Manager, Boston:

“I have several pairs of my mom’s high heeled shoes from when she was my age. Now that I’m a mom I realize what big shoes I have to fill!”

Lisa Barnes – District Consultant, San Francisco Bay Area:

“I wear my grandmother’s diamond on a chain around my neck 24/7. My grandma was one of the most important women in my life.  She treated me like I was the most amazing person in the world.  Always complimented me and made me feel so loved and important.  Any time I was down and needed to talk to someone, I would call her.  She always know the right thing to say.  She always told me that I was her “diamond” (I was born in April, and that is my birthstone) and that when she died, she wanted me to have her diamond.

She passed away four years ago, and her funeral was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  After the service, my sisters, my daughter, my cousins, and my mom all went back to her house and sat on her bed with all of her jewelry boxes.  We sat there for over three hours laughing, crying and sorting out all of the “treasures” she had saved over her lifetime.  She saved everything, included all the notes that accompanied the jewelry.  Going through all of her jewelry that day is a memory I will never forget – it helped ease the pain of the funeral. We all choice pieces that held important, strong memories for us.  Her diamond, stays on me 24 hours a day.  It’s a reminder that I was so loved by such an amazing woman, and I can hear her little words of encouragement and praise still.”

Marie Kagay – Sales Operations Coordinator – San Francisco:

“I love wearing my moms old clothes, especially her summer dresses. They have an authentic vintage feel, and are a great reminder of how cool my mom used to be!”

What are your favorite gifts from your Mom?