ancestor story, me, treasures

Treasures: The Original Locks of Love

Ronald & Margaret - darkerRonald & Margaret

During my college years I lived 2 1/2 hours from my grandparents.  This was the closest I had ever lived to them.  I visited them often.  I loved all of that time with just them.  Many of my most treasured memories come from these visits.

During one visit, my grandpa invited me into his office to show me something.  He sat down and reached for a frame that was sitting front and center on his desk.  His eyes became misty as he explained his new treasure.

When he was a young man he enlisted in the Marine Corps during WWII.  While he was away he and my grandmother wrote to each other.  In one of her letters she included a few of her curls tied together with a patriotic ribbon.  He carried those curls in his breast pocket throughout his time in the service.  Over the years the curls had been forgotten in a drawer.

Fast forward to the mid nineties – my grandma came across the envelope of curls and had an idea for a special gift.  She cleaned, combed and re-curled her locks.  She found a suitable shadowbox frame.  She gathered a scrap of the wallpaper she and my grandpa had carefully chosen for his office.  The wallpaper served as the backdrop for her newly freshened curls.  After putting the frame together she presented this special gift of their past and present to my grandfather.

Listening to him explain the significance of this gift was a special experience for me.  I felt like he had invited me into the circle of their love.  It was about a year later that my grandpa died.  My grandma lived almost seven more years.  After her death our family very carefully worked together to make sure everyone was able to take some of my grandparents treasures into their lives.  Among the few items I chose was this special gift.

These curls are one of my greatest earthly treasures.  They remind me of the special times I spent with my grandparents, of their sweet love story, & of the joy that comes from giving a meaningful gift.

I am so grateful that I am blessed to be the current steward of these curls – true locks of love.

Grandma's Curls

Do you have any earthly treasures that help you feel connected to your ancestors?

15 thoughts on “Treasures: The Original Locks of Love”

  1. Just beautiful and oh so precious! Brought a tear to my eye! You are so lucky to have had that time. I never knew my Dad’s parents and only vaguely knew my Mother’s father who died when I was 5. We lived quite a way away from my Grandmother that we saw her a few times a year, like over the summer holidays and at Christmas. Wish I had got to know her better!

    1. Thank you. I feel very blessed to have spent so much one on one time with them. They have 17 grandchildren so before my college years there wasn’t a lot of one on one. Plenty of love and fun with everyone but those years of private visits were very precious.

  2. That is such an incredible gift and wonderful story! How lucky you are to have that and have the memory of him telling you the significance. 🙂

  3. I cannot express how moved I am to have read this post. It is wonderful to see someone cherish their family heirlooms. I am currently working on about 200 letters written during World War Two that found their way to an auction. I will post about this soon. But I will say one more time that your story moved me and a few tears did flow.

  4. What a special, precious family heirloom. Treasure it, and make sure it stays in the family. That is so priceless. And I love that you put it online to share with others. Made my day!

    You ask about our family mementos… I have some stuff (family photos, research letters, etc.) from my grandma, but nothing like your special treasure.

  5. Lovely story. In four girls, I’m the one most active in genealogy and family, sometimes extended, just thought I should be the caretakers of some interesting things. I’m in awe to have a silver cigarette case given to my Great Uncle in 1918 from the sailors that served with him in WWI and a silver pin that my Great Grandfather from Portadown Northern Ireland gave his wife instead of a ring. It took me forever to figure out that the words on the pin wasn’t Latin or Gaelic, but Dublin slang that meant “My Treasure”.

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