Thursday, May 9, 2013

What Is Important?

My maternal grandmother, Sophie Pickarski, lived to be somewhere around 90 (no one's quite sure of her exact age when she died a couple of years ago).  She was a collector of little bits, buttons and stamps and coins, things that cost little or nothing but entertained her mightily.

After she died, one of my dear cousins sent a box of odds and ends to me. I kept the button collection for myself and, per Gramma's instructions, passed the coins and stamps along to my children ("who knows, maybe you'll start collecting something" read her handwritten note). Tucked in the circa 1970 shoe box were a number of the inspirational pieces that she loved to clip from the newspaper and Readers Digest.  

I just had to share this one with you, from the 1960s. Carl Holmes, in his column "Mental Stimulators," quotes a psychiatrist and Jesus before arriving at these wise words from a one-time editor of the Saturday Evening Post - which Gramma circled in pencil:

"It is a good thing to have money and the things that money can buy, but it is good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that we haven't lost the things that money can't buy." Carl goes on to enumerate them - a bit more windily than necessary, perhaps: health, character, loyalty, friends, and home.

Not a bad list at all, and I'm glad to say I think I hit every one of those nails on the head.

(Carl concludes with treacly eulogies to "a Baby's Smile" and "the Love of a Good Woman," but in the spirit of my grandmother's boundless good nature and faith in her fellow humans, I've forgiven him.)

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