By Lorry Myers
I remember them posing on shelves and hiding in the China cabinet at my grandmother’s house. They were ceramic ladies, just their head and shoulders, each made with a hole in their head that made them a vase. There were blondes and brunettes with long eyelashes, shy smiles, and pearls around their necks. One had a classy pillbox hat, and another was draped in a flowing scarf. There were seven lady head vases altogether and each had a unique personality that matched her lipstick and accessories.
I loved those ladies.
When Grandma entered a nursing home, her home was shuttered and locked. Then, when she passed away, family again filled the house where time had stood still. Looking around, her things were all there, as if Grandma had run to the store and would be right back. Then, I saw them. After all those years, there they were, waiting for me.
Those lovely ladies.
After my grandmother’s life was organized on tables for auction, each family member was allowed to purchase mementos of the woman we all loved. Of course, I chose those ladies, paid for them, and took them home with me. It was several days before I could unwrap them and examine them closely and when I did, they looked so different. The blonde had lost an earring and her hat had been broken and glued. The brunette’s lips had faded, and her fingertip was missing. One’s eyelash was chipped, and another had a crack down her back. I hardly recognized their faces! They seemed tattered and scarred, forgotten and forlorn. They couldn’t be my lovely ladies.
These ladies weren’t lovely at all!
What happened to make such cherished beauties turn neglected and abused? I held those vases in my hands and couldn’t remember why I had chosen to bring them home. They were cracked and chipped and not nearly the classy ladies that I remembered. The glue used to repair their breaks was now yellowed with age and looked like it had been that way forever. How come I had never noticed these flaws before?
Had they been this way all my life?
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard