Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jessica’s vignette for Mother’s Day: An Unusual Keepsake

Continuing with our Mother’s Day vignettes
here is “An Unusual Keepsake” by Jessica Cherie Errico.
You’ll also enjoy Jess’s two blogs, Jewels for the Journey 

If you missed the first in our Mother’s Day series,
click here to read Ellie O’Malley’s

and our second in the series,
Julie Miller’s “Good Direction.”

An Unusual Keepsake

by Jessica Cherie Errico

Keepsakes come in all shapes and sizes. Some sparkle with market value, others appear ordinary and hardly worth a moment's notice. But don't dismiss an "everyday" heirloom too quickly, for its legacy may be priceless!

As I lift the hope chest lid and survey the cherished items carefully packed within, one object in particular stands out. Once shiny, it is dulled by use. The rounded dome is still sturdy and its perforations form a fanciful pattern. This is the aluminum colander my mother passed on to me when I ventured out into the world over a quarter-century ago.

Since then, how many cans of tuna fish have been drained by its capable bowl? Surely thousands of servings of pasta have been prepared with its straining effect. Fruit salads and kidney bean salads have been lovingly prepared with its aid. Children have been nourished and my sweet husband blessed with the use of this colander.

Turning it over in my hands, I observe its sturdy form and my fingers trace some random dimples in the metal. These evidences of hard use murmur to me of surviving in a complex world. Just as the colander drained away impurities and unwanted oil, so too, my mother survived loneliness and disappointment, cancer and osteoporosis, only to forge ahead with a smile.

Bound up in this keepsake are her examples of endurance and a positive attitude, characteristics I've put to the test and have proven to sustain me. How grateful I am for the gift of Mother's colander, and the courage and perseverance it represents. As I pass it to my daughter for use in her kitchen, may the inevitable trials of life be strained away to reveal the same joy and strength of those who used it before her. Bon apetit!

copyright © 2012 Jessica Cherie Errico

“The Story Woman,” Lynn Henriksen, encourages sons and daughters to write compelling stories about their mothers and, if interested, to submit them to her.

Recently she published TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir, a writing guide that also includes 40 bio-vignettes submitted to her by people just like you.

Interested? Click here to read Lynn’s blog post, How The Mother Memoir Came To Life

Also click here to read Sharon Lippincott’s related blog post, Mother Memoir.  


  1. Happy Mother's Day Linda!
    Thank you for giving us a forum to share our Mother's Day vignettes on. What a privilege and joy to be a mother!
    Blessings to you and yours~

    1. Hi, Jess, thanks for sharing your sweet, insightful story with us. You have written with grace and style and wisdom and joy, and you have also given the rest of us ideas for how we can consider the roles our keepsakes play, roles we might not have thought of before.

      Happy, Happy Mother's Day, Jess!