Sunday, July 22, 2012

Most Important Ancestor Item

Grandfather's WWII wooden carved horse.
What is the most important item in your life? Is this something you might risk your life over? If there was a house fire and everyone was safe and I had time to get this item out of the house without major risk to my life, the above horse statue would be it. To others it's just a piece of carved wood. Pretty but otherwise nothing special right? To me it is everything associated with my grandfather.

Grandpa was a WWII veteran. Click link to learn more about his role in WWII. When he came back from the war he brought this horse with him. It originates from Germany though I don't know much more about it. After the war Grandpa kept it in his bedroom on top of his dresser. Each weekend that I visited the first thing I would do is go to his bedroom with him and he would show me the horse and tell me he brought it back from the war. He would remind me that one day when he died I would have this horse to remember him by. I wanted that horse right then. I always begged to take it home but he always denied me.

In 1994 I was living in Kentucky at the time. We learned that my grandfather had lung cancer and not much time left to live. So I went to Ohio to stay with my grandparents for awhile. In mid-December, my grandfather died. When my mother picked me up to take me back to Kentucky I was given a box and told not to open it until we got home. All the way home I held that box in my lap. I knew what it was and to be honest it disgusted me. When I finally did open the box I just wanted to give it back. If I gave it back, maybe it would bring my grandfather home. Of course I was old enough to know that wouldn't have been the case. I felt guilty for receiving something I really wanted only after someone I loved died.

Today the horse has an honor on my ancestor alter. (When I have the space for an altar that is). The horse along with a slice of lemon are symbols of my grandfathers presence. The lemon is because when I visited my grandfather we also had another tradition of going out to eat. My grandmother would have tea with lemon on the side. I would eat the lemon and my grandfather would tell me not to eat it because he could taste the bitter flavor of the lemon. I'd always laugh and eat it anyway.

I write this post today because for some reason this horse and my grandfather are on my mind. I have this irrational fear that I've lost the horse. Because I live with MIL most of my things are packed away. The important items went in boxes and is scattered throughout MIL's house. I haven't seen this horse in a year and I suppose that is the problem. Once in awhile I like to hold it, dust it off and commune with it for a bit. It's my way to recharge its energy. I haven't been able to do that for too long. I suppose I'll have to find it and set up the ancestor altar even for a short time.

Is there an item that is very important to you? Please share what it is and if you use it in your religious practice.


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Blessed Be,