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Jude's avatar

Do you have anything from one of your relatives (something that they passed down to you) and they're now gone?

Asked by Jude (32112points) February 9th, 2010

A piece of jewelry, a painting/picture, or, maybe a book?

Nevermind the bite mark on my finger here (that’s from a parrot – long story), but, these are my Mom’s wedding rings. She gave them to me when she was dying in the hospital. She was so sick and thin from cancer, they were falling off of her finger. She took them off, looked at me and said, “tradition is important. Your sister has your grandmother’s wedding ring, your older brother has your grandfather’s and your younger brother will get your Dad’s. I want you to have these. Are they too old-fashioned?” Me, “No, Mom, they’re beautiful”. I put them on three years ago and have only taken them off to clean them.

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33 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

—that’s beautiful, @jmah
I have some old embroidered cloths and brooches that my grandmother gave me when I started my first witchcraft altar – they were so important to me and when my father (in one of his alcoholic rages) threw my altar into the garbage, I cried the hardest for the things my grandmother gave me..I was able to retrieve some of the stuff and have it in a shoebox that is now within a much bigger witchcraft trunk in my closet.

I have a cross fashioned out of metal that my brother made for himself and gave to me before my SATs so that I can do well and get into NYU – a couple of months later, he died…I wore that cross often, together with my pentagrams (one of my pentagrams I put into his coffin because he always wanted to do magik with me but I never agreed). Now, the cross rests in a jewelry box next to some pentagrams that I got the second time around I was practicing witchcraft. I also have some of his old college notebooks and drawings and the clothes he wore in the months before his death. I will never throw these things out.

I’m trying to remember what I kept of my grandfather’s or my father’s but am drawing a blank. I do know that when my father passed away, I held onto one of those pieces of shawl (some are expected to put on their heads) for the duration of the funeral and then put it into his coffin. He was a photographer, my father, I have photographs that he’s taken or worked on to remember him by.

trailsillustrated's avatar

that makes me cry. I have my mother’s coat, and a picture I remember from childhood. I have her silver bracelet. I have a studio photo of my dad in uniform from 1944. that’s about it.

janbb's avatar

I have my great grandmother’s brass Shabbos candlesticks that came over from Russia. They were a part of my childhood as my mother lit candles in them every Friday night. She was not a saver so I am glad to have such a meaningful heirloom.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I have quite few things from my grandpa (Papa) on my dad’s side. We were strangely similar even if politically opposite and he gave me a number of his mechanical engineering books, while he was alive – I also have a few things that used to hang in his home (including a Civil War musket that maybe I could be without…) that I received after he died. Recently my parents sent me his passport, which I found touching – traveling the world was important to him.
I have one bell from my Nana’s bell collection (she had hundreds) and one angel from my Grandma’s angel collection (she had… thousands…). I don’t really display either, but I see them from time to time and am reminded of them.

onesecondregrets's avatar

My dad was planning on giving it to me at some point in my life, just not at his death. A statuette little Vietnamese doll from when he served in the war. When my dad passed away, he was moving back in with us after being in South Carolina for 4 years, so he had everything packed in boxes, barely any of it made it out of the car before we had to admit him into the hospital. The little doll was sitting in the passenger seat of his car and when I was on my way to the hospital between breaks from work I spotted her and brought her into the hospital with me and put her next to his bedside table. Ah, I’m starting to get teary. He looked me in the eyes, looked her in the eyes, looked me in the eyes again. He couldn’t talk in the last days barely, if anything it was a raspy whisper. He lifted up his hand and he pointed to her then to me. I shook my head up and down and sat next to him. He let out “I was going to give that to you, that’s for you.” I said “I know Daddy, I know.”

She’s really beautiful, and she’s always at my bedside.

Cruiser's avatar

I have a wonderful antique hand mirror and china set from my mom’s mom…and from my dad’s mom I have really nice antique furniture and mirrors that came across the ocean with their family 130 years ago. A few war medals from my dads grandpa too.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I love this question

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Oh! I remembered – of my grandfather I have a songbook of really old Russian folk songs – when there was nothing to do in our village everyone would gather in our house and sing these songs – the book is completely yellowed and is totally falling apart but somehow I was able to get my hands on it and it’s in one of the boxes (I have many) in the closet. I might have some of his old war medals as well.

ModernEpicurian's avatar

My Great-Grandfather died a few years ago. He was a fantastic golfer and won tonnes of trophies, but this one year he won every major trophy that there was at his golf club. It turned out that he also now had that many male progeny when he died, so we all got one. I keep mine in my room, next to a picture of him from the war and the last card that he wrote to me for Christmas. Whenever I look at them it makes me proud to carry my family name.

Trillian's avatar

@jmah I have my grandmothers old rocking chair that she re-caned. I also have all the things I made or bought for her over the years. When I was sixteen I made my first afghan and gave it to her. She had to send it back a few years ago because the fibers from the yarn messed up her lungs. After she died all the crafts that I had done for her and the gifts that we grandkids had given her were returned to us. I plan to make a shadow box for everything except a beautiful water color quilted wallhanging that I had made. I hang it up at Christmas now, and tell people about her who comment on it.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Yes.I have a dress my dad bought my mother when he was stationed in Japan.It is beautiful and my favorite of the things I have of theirs.I will wear it to an art opening soon :)

CMaz's avatar

My Grandfathers name.

susanc's avatar

Linen sheets with my grandmother’s initials embroidered on them. Amazing. They must be
100 years old by now (barely) and they’re as strong and soft as um, my grandmother was. But not as funny.

tedibear's avatar

I have my mom’s china. It’s beautiful! I’ve added a few serving pieces here and there. Also, I have a ring from a great-aunt. It’s a lovely amethyst but I didn’t like it as a ring. I took it to a jeweler and had it made into a pendant. I wear it every could of weeks.

kevbo's avatar

From my great aunt, I have a Westinghouse desk fan that you’d see in some detective film noir that is made of steel and weighs as much as a bowling ball. I also have her books from art school. Oh, and I also have from her a partial set of colored aluminum cups and party/tv trays from the 60s or so.

From my grandpa, I have some religious artifacts and a book from 1950 called My Catholic Faith which is an encyclopedia of Catholic doctrine and provides answers to such pressing modern day questions as the nature of Communism and the confluence of Catholicism and secular culture. I also have an old book on Gregg’s shorthand.

It was my uncle’s, and he is still alive, but I also came into possession of a copy of a “Soviet Science Fiction” anthology edited by Asimov.

Trillian's avatar

@kevbo I remember those aluminum cups. They came in four different colors and added a ‘ting’ to your teeth when you drank your kool-aid. I’d love to be able to find a set of those. Hang onto them, pass them down to your kids, use them while they’re little.

JLeslie's avatar

This question is timely for me seeing as I just changed my avatar to a photo of my grandma and grandpa. When my grandmother passed a way a few years ago I took a stash of photos that she had sitting in a brown paper grocery store bag; I could look at those photos every day. I also have some of her jewelry, crystal, and I really really regret not taking her china. Really regret it, it really bother me. I also have some of my grandpa’s artwork, he was a painter.

wundayatta's avatar

All of my grandparents stuff is in the possession of my parents. My father was an only child. The thing I want is their slide collection. My grandparents took a road trip around the country every summer (amazing vacation bennies in those days), and took photos of all kinds of things. I remember watching slide shows afterwards and being amazed.

Christian95's avatar

I have memories given(or better said created by my dead relatives) and this is most valuable thing in the world that could’ve been given to me by my dead relatives

Sophief's avatar

I have a ruby ring and a gold wind-up watch from my Grandma, she was given the watch for her 18th birthday and the ring was her engagement ring. I also have my Grandma and Grandad wedding rings.

scotsbloke's avatar

I was given a pair of cufflinks by my step-mum when my Dad passed away. I cherish them and have worn them several times. I even porposely bought shirts that needed cufflinks cos most don’t these days (well Except the posh ones).
I used to have mmy Grandad’s WW2 war medals but they went to the local museum where he lived some years ago. I can still see them anytime I go there as they are on display, honouring him.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I have my mother’s nose and her love of words and wordplay, and my father’s chin, eyes and hair, and some (nowhere near enough) of his mechanical aptitude, patience and thoughtfulness.

Plus the table settings, which are mere baubles in comparison to everything else I got from them.

zephyr826's avatar

From my grandparents, I have a set of my grandpa’s cufflinks. When I got married, my mom photocopied my grandpa’s notes and transcripts from the last wedding sermon he preached he was a Lutheran pastor, and it was for my aunt and uncle’s wedding and got three of the handkerchiefs from my grandma’s cedar chest and gave them to me before the ceremony. I have the dress that my great grandma wore to my grandparents’ wedding in the forties I wore it to chaperone prom a few years ago.

I have my cousin’s copy of Little Women. When she died, my aunt asked me to help clean out her room, and I asked if I could have the book. We’d both loved it as children, and I wanted something we’d shared.

Snarp's avatar

I don’t have anything specifically given to me by the deceased person, but I do have many things that belonged to relatives who are now dead. I have a pen and pencil set my great uncle bought during WWII and used to keep his journal in throughout the war (my mom has the journal). I also have a guitar he made, a harmonica of his, and an assortment of old coins of his. I have my great grandfather’s shaving mug with my (his) name on it. I have my great grandmother’s silver, and my great great grandfather’s Morris chair. My wedding ring was my father in law’s and my wife’s wedding ring was my great grandmother’s.

evandad's avatar

My genes.

wildflower's avatar

I have a pocket watch from my grandfather (who I was named after), which he got from his grandfather, who had bought it from a man looking to immigrate to America in the late 19th century.
I also have scarf, hat and apron for a traditional national costume, embroidered by my aunt, shortly before she was diagnosed with cancer.

None of these are things I can easily use/wear, but are part of my family history and very special to me.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Many things, but the two that mean the most are my grandfathers service pistol and the diamond ring handed down through my family for about 250 years. Since the family line ends with me, I thought it appropriate that the ring be buried with my wife (it’s no longer in my possession, but no living person will ever wear it again).

SuperMouse's avatar

I have four dresses my mother sewed for me when I was a little girl. Three are every day dresses, but one is my First Communion dress that is basically a miniature wedding dress. My mother was quite the seamstress; when I was in grade school back to school shopping consisted of a trip to the fabric store for patterns and lots of different cloth. I also have a wool dress that my mother was given when she lived in Paris as a little girl. I am not a huge saver, the older I get the more I feel the need to purge everything except pictures and videos, but those dresses mean the world to me and I can’t imagine not having them.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I have two copper bracelets that once belonged to a great aunt of mine. Her husband bought them at a dime store in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s, they used to argue the date since they were a wedding anniversary present. One of then is stamped with a geometric pattern and the other is a floral, they balance in their difference and bind in their shape and width. When I was a child, I used to admire them and was thrilled when they were given to me while my aunt was still alive.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre You don’t have to worry about a Civil War muzzle-loading musket as a danger to anyone. Just make sure that there is no percussion cap on the nipple. Then look down the barrel using a flashlight and mirror to make sure there is no bullet present. Without cap, powder or bullet it’s perfectly harmless.

If you ever did want to fire it,(assuming this is a Springfield musket) you would need to pour about 60 grains of FFg black powder down the barrel, load a .58 caliber Minie-type musket bullet using the ramrod, then place the hammer on half-cock and press a musket-size percussion cap on the nipple. To fire it, you pull the hammer back to full-cock, aim and squeeze the trigger. Make sure you wash out the barrel with soap and hot water, dry and oil it after firing (black powder residue is corrosive if left in the barrel).

Just giving you this as information as I know how your lady feels about firearms. As long as there is no cap or bullet, it’s no more dangerous than a hockey stick. I’ve fired these and flintlock muskets many times in reenactments, great fun.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Yeah – I know it’s “harmless” – and it’s at my parents house, but I don’t even really like the kids being near it. It’s actually a Colt 1861 “Special Contract” that Sam Colt more or less swindled the US into buying durring the war (it’s a copy of the Pattern 53 Enfield rifled musket – Colt bought all their old equipment for almost nothing and made a killing selling the 1861 “Special Contract” as a Springfield-esq weapon.)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre Ah. So you know what’s going on. Sorry about the unnecessary lecture. Yes, the British were converting to breechloaders (Sniders) and dumped their old tooling off on Sam Colt. Functionally the same as the Springfield.
Jacob Snider, an American, offered his breechloader design to the US Army in 1860 and was turned down. He peddled it to the British.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Oh – no problem – I appreciate it!

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