The Pink and Blue Vase

The Pink and Blue Vase
By Irene Murray

My mother is my hero in many ways. One of the things that she did was affixing labels to some of her more loved objects with a note about the object and its meaning.

At the time of my mother’s death in April 2000, five out of six of my siblings got together to at her apartment to go through her earthly belongings and to divide them up or discard them. It was a walk down memory lane as well as a testament to her orderliness and frugality to undo all that she had saved and categorized in order to make her life comfortable and manageable. Like so many of us, it was apparent that she had a great fear of not being able to care for herself both physically and fiscally in her last years.

One item that I got to keep from that time of disassembling is the ‘pink and blue vase’. On its base, on a plain piece of paper covered by scotch tape to keep it safe are the following words, ‘1/96….This vase was a well-loved wedding gift in 1941, so it’s well on its way to being an antique…..Wilma’. The vase is a soft blue on the outside and an equally soft pink on the inside. The vase has a round base then it narrows much like an ice-cream soda glass with a scalloped shape on the vase part itself.

Strangely, I never remember seeing this vase when I was growing up, it must have been considered ‘too good’ to be out where we children could have broken it and in neither of the homes that I lived in growing up was there a display area or piece of furniture for ornamental objects.

As I reflect on this object and the writing on the base, I am fairly certain that it may have been received from my mother’s heroine from her youth, Mrs. Noble, her high school English teacher. Mrs. Noble was able to let my mother know that she saw beauty within her at a time when I am sure my mother was unable to see it in herself. Those were years when she was caught in a cycle of sexual abuse by her step-father.

So, this vase was, at least in my imagination, something that my Mom and Dad received when they got married; an atypically idyllic time in my Mom’s life, perhaps she recalled this when she labeled it and put it away for us to find one day.

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