I don’t usually get attached to material things. For the most part I could have an estate sale tomorrow and it would not faze me but there is this little pot. Sometimes this little pot makes me angry and sometimes it makes me smile. This little pot is a reminder of the person who gave it to me years ago. She has long since passed away as has her husband. I really miss them sometimes.
To understand this little chipped pot you must know where it came from. It was a gift to my friend from her cousin Ola. Cousin Ola was the epitome of success and was greatly revered because she had married a railroad tycoon and lived in the big city of Little Rock. Well, it is a big city if you’re from rural Arkansas.
My friend used this pot for many years to hold her ball of yarn while she crocheted. Financial success was very important to my friend so she placed great value in this pot. Not for its monetary value as it has little but for the reminder that her dear cousin captured success. When Cousin Ola came to visit everyone jumped through hoops to make the house and themselves in presentable order worthy of such a special visitor.
I’m not sure why my friend was so obsessed with financial status. In her stories about her Cousin it became clear that this was instilled in her as a child. It may have something to do with living through the depression. This is the one thing about my friend that I did not like and I would often do my best to steer her away from conversations of wealth.
For years I went to visit Mr. and Mrs. Friend every Sunday afternoon at 3:00pm. I loved our visits. Mrs. Friend had Alzheimer’s and could not remember what she ate for lunch but she could tell me about the homemade dress she wore to graduation and subsequently tore while climbing a fence on that very same day. She told me of her Father taking the diamond out of his ring to give it to her and filling the empty prongs of his gold ring with gum. We spoke of her youth when she played basketball and how Mr. Friend courted her all the way through school. We never had a dull Sunday afternoon. My Friends were in their 80’s and had so very many stories to tell. My favorite story from Mr. Friend was the Halloween that he and his buddies disassembled a local merchant’s wagon and reassembled it on top of his store. Oh how I loved their stories.
I wish that was all they had to tell. The wonderful stories that is. The problem with being a friend is that you have to listen to the unpleasant stories as well. You would think the most unpleasant stories would be the ones about the times they each had survived cancer. But no…this was a different kind of cancer. A soul eating cancer. This was the stories about their immediate family and how they had allowed money to come between them. They would wield the family inheritance around like a sword. I’ll never know what really happened in these stories of greed because I only heard one side of the story. I hope to never know the truth. I’m afraid it is uglier than I can bear. I do not wish to believe that either side could ever think that money was so important.
The day Mrs. Friend passed away I got the call very early in the morning. I threw on some clothes and ran to the nursing home as fast as I could. Mr. Friend was sitting there alone with her body. We sat together for a long time not really knowing what to say. Her last words were the first and middle name of her beloved husband. She called for him and the lady sharing a room with her tried to calm her. Then she was gone. Mr. Friend and I waited hours for the funeral home to show up. They put her on that metal gurney and covered her with a red velvet cloth from the funeral home. I miss my friend.
So, I keep her pot beside my bed on a shelf below the alarm clock. I look at the little pot each night when I go to bed and each morning when I awake. Sometimes the little pot reminds me how unimportant “things” and money are. Sometimes it reminds me of a homemade dress that was torn while jumping a fence.