Sunday, October 5, 2008

Our Inheritance

Friday was Julie's birthday - she is my dear mother-in-law. We had a little get together for her at her parents' home. They have both passed on, Thelma in January 2007 and Chet in December 2007, and Julie is still working out all of the estate details. It has been a long, painful process, but things will eventually all be taken care of. In the meantime, there are things we can do, like going through all the stuff. Oddly enough, that is what we did for her birthday. (Admit it - your family does funny things like that, too.)

This is what she really wanted for her birthday - her adoring grandchildren to come and give her hugs and kisses. That happened! We ate dinner, then we set out to see what Chet and Thelma left behind.

First, let me just say that I adore Chet and Thelma, it has been so sad to say goodbye to them, but we are so happy they are together. That is how it always was, Chet and Thelma, and that is how it always will be.

Look how beautiful they are - great teeth, beautiful eyes!

Talk about always being together, this is a note Chet left for Thelma a few years ago, isn't it so sweet and so indicative of their desire to be together? They had been married just a few months shy of 70 years when Thelma passed away. Chet couldn't stand to be without her, it was a difficult year for him.
Now they are both passed from this world and it is our turn to look through their lives and see what they were made of. It was actually a very fun evening, reminiscing over items we knew about, as well as finding a few surprises. We were asked to put sticky notes on anything of interest to us (decisions to be made at a later date). Here are the things that caught my eye (or heart):

First, there were some old favorites:

A Commemorative Postmaster Convention Plate - still not sure why they had this.

A bright red telephone - I would love to talk on this!

The classic item for any good yard sale - glass grapes.

The mushroom chair from the 70's.

The light hanging over the kitchen table.

The light hanging over the stairs.

Beautiful old quilts and clothing - Thelma was a wonderful seamstress.

An old mug that Chet just hated:

A mug much better suited for Chet:

A lovely cherry wood baby grand piano.

A Mattel Courtney doll from the 80's - like gag me with a spoon.

Ah, the rooster -

Then there were a few surprises.

Did you notice all the small children present that evening - look what I found in the middle of the floor - YIKES!

This darling bag was Thelma's, what was surprising was that we realized there was no one with a "T" name to take it. We all kept saying how cute, but in the end, it just sat there, no stickies.

This funny old circus mirror had 3 stickies - crazy - and yes, Bert IS one of them.

Yikes - these were just scary.

Love these pants

This is what I think we will be getting for sure:

Oh la la!

Double Oh La La - Bert CANNOT have this one!

The way these two were together, it's amazing they only had 6 kids!

And then there were the things that are just too close to my heart to ever forget.

I've never heard of this book, but it is such a sweet reminder of their love.

This is Thelma's favorite picture, this is how I always imagined their home during the holidays!

A picture of their 6 kids was blown up and hangs on the wall. I love it. (And, Julie is the one on the top left - isn't she cute?)

Here is a grandkid picture that was also blown up, Bert is the second one from the left holding a picture of their brother they were in the process of adopting.

And here is the Chet and Thelma family - very beautiful.

After going through everything, I quickly realized what I really hoped to inherit from Chet and Thelma. And this is something that all of us can inherit from them . . . a passionate and endearing love for my spouse that will last well into my nineties, and for eterenity. A love for my family that will keep us together no matter what. Chet and Thelma left an example that will be with me always. I sincerely hope that when we are old, my children and grandchildren will be able to say the same of Bert and I. That is what I really want.

I am so glad I was able to know and love them.
Thank you for everything Chet and Thelma, we miss you.


Tabitha Blue said...

That's so sweet! For one, what a great way to celebrate a birthday party. I'm sure when I'm a grandma I would adore that!

What a great love story too! All those memories, the good, the bad and the weird. All of it wrapped up is so sweet. :)

The Uzelac's said...

I sit here reading this blog laughing with great big tears in my eyes. What a great post. How I use to dream of being as utterly glamorous as Thel or as quick and industrious as Chet. So here is to two of the quirkiest, sweetest, most iconic, and missed people I know.

Zombette said...

Oh Jenny!

I'm just sitting here sobbing right now because of this post. What an awesome thing to do for Julie's birthday. And, yes, I proudly admit my family does equally 'weird' stuff all the time. :-)

Thanks for sharing this my sweet friend. You are the cutest ever!

(I'm also glad the only interest the razor blade generated was a was, wasn't it?)

linsey said...

please keep this post forever! i will have to refer to it often to remember such a great time in my childhood, playing at Grandma's with razor blades.