Let There Be Light

This week’s writing theme was loss ….

It is an odd little lamp – dare I say ugly.

We had all puzzled over this sorry looking object that sat in my mother’s living room for longer than my years.  She shrugged off our mocking laughs without explanation or defence.  That was unusual.  My mother always had something to say.

When she finally passed away, her daughters gathered to disburse the remnants of her life.  The lamp stood alone – unloved and unwanted.  We looked at each other with embarrassment because we were all thinking the same thing.  This lamp had been cherished for reasons we didn’t understand, nor had we made the effort to know its story.  How could we now callously discard it?

The youngest daughter bravely ponied up and claimed the lamp.  It now proudly stands in her home – open to the puzzled expressions from those who visit, but cherished by those who know its origins.

I feel an odd sense of loss in having let the ugly lamp go.

lamp

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
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26 Responses to Let There Be Light

  1. Ummm. Yes, Joanne. I can relate. I’m so glad one of you kept the lamp and it has taken its rightful place as a keeper of memories 🙂 Lovely post and right up my alley this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Nancy. I don’t find the lamp ugly. For me, i t has an Asian fairy tale quality. I can see it in a children’s room. I wonder if it was a gift to your mom from someone she cherished, or a reminder of some memory or wish she had. Condolences for your mother’s passing. She certainly left your family with an object that has caused conjecture and comment.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you for the kind thoughts. Interesting that you should picture it in a children’s room. That’s exactly where it is now … a children’s room set up for my sister’s grandchildren when they visit.
      Age has given us better perspective and we can now respect the things we used to mock. Lessons learned I guess 🙂

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  3. I loved this story. Objects and memories are intertwined so often, and they gain in importance when their owners die, however ugly we find them. I have a china duck with a broken beak – I bought it for my grandmother when I was a little girl, and my mother posted it to me when my Grandma died. It’s ugly, but it’s precious to me. I also have a huge copper jam pot that belonged to my husband’s grandmother – her jam was a permanent fixture in our family history, and I think of her every time I use it.
    Maybe there’s a fabulous story behind the lamp… or maybe she kept it because she didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings? Affaire à suivre…

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    • joannesisco says:

      Wouldn’t that be ironic if she kept it for the same reasons my sister has it?! I never thought of that!
      You are right though – objects take on an entirely different meaning when there is history behind it. I love it that you have some of things from generations past. They somehow keep us grounded to our family and in what’s really important.

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  4. Tina says:

    Thanks for writing about the lamp Joanne. There is definitely a sense of loss but also of celebration for the uniqueness, possibly quirkiness, of our mother. I love that lamp, in spite of it being kitschy. It reminds me of mom every time I look at it. Yes…I am the proud owner of the lamp!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Words fail me. I really don’t know what to say about that lamp! 😆

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  6. nancytex2013 says:

    I think it’s quirky and whimsical, not ugly at all. 🙂
    I love that you all saw the value in keeping it, a prized possession of your mom’s.

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  7. davecenker says:

    Another fine example of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. It isn’t the physical characteristics of this object that make it beautiful, but rather the experiences had while gathered around it sharing stories, reading books, or just sitting quietly with another together by its dim light. Thank you for such a simple, yet profound story.

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    • joannesisco says:

      thank you Dave. Sometimes we don’t recognize what’s important & meaningful. If we are lucky, we have a chance to make the correction. Often we aren’t and there is only a sense of loss that remains.

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  8. bulldog says:

    The loss of a parent is traumatic to say the least… but the deciding what to do with what is left difficult, what do you throw away? Everything has a small memory hidden in ones heart… I love the lamp, not for its beauty, but it had a special meaning to your Mom, and for that alone it would stand proud in my house… I received an old cupboard from my parents and not long back opened a drawer that I’d not bothered to open for ten odd years now. Full of old papers and things that my Mom had kept… (she turns 90 this year) among these papers were the poems that had been written by her friends for her Kitchen tea before her marriage… how wonderful it was to read these penned poems, did I throw them away after reading them?? No they will be cherished forever, my kids can decide what to do with them when I’m gone…

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    • joannesisco says:

      What a wonderful find! Those poems are definitely a treasure.
      My mother kept all the letters my dad wrote to her during the war after they had met. They have all been digitized now since the paper is getting fragile. Some things just demand to be preserved as best as we can.

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  9. I wish I could be kinder but you’re right that is an ugly lamp! But an ugly lamp loved by your beloved mother so your sense of loss makes a lot of sense.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Based on my own experience, my advice to people now is to avoid making too many decisions if they can. Pack stuff away if possible. Inevitably the question gets asked … whatever happened to xxxx? It is surprising how things you don’t think are important later become very. I wish I could go back and do it again differently. Even the ugly lamp 🙂

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  10. sueslaght says:

    Joanne firstly my sympathy to you at the passing of your Mom. Looking closely at the lamp I wonder if it reminded your Mom of distant lands or a trip once taken? It is understandable that something she so cherished symbolizes a bit of her also gone. All my best to you.

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