“Do you want my crystal cordial glasses?” My mother asked me this morning. “I have 16 of them.”
No, I said. I have plenty of my own. Two sets in fact. Two sets hardly used.
Growing up, I coveted these glasses and as the oldest grandchild on my mother’s side, was promised them.
My grandfather, Joe, packed them up for me. They’d sold their house and were moving to an assisted living apartment. He had instructed my mother to drive carefully so the glasses would arrive to me intact. Stricken with colon cancer at 85, he managed with the disease for nearly another decade. He never made it to the apartment, only to the hospital. When I visited him there, a few days before he died, he asked me about the glasses and I assured him I’d received them and hoped to use them for many years.
I remember my grandmother’s elegant holiday dinners, complete with all the glasses in many sizes. While I’ve had a few parties like those over the years, my entertaining tends to be much simpler.
And as much as I always loved the glasses, I loved the story about how my grandfather obtained them more. He and my grandmother were engaged and planned to marry November 2, 1929. Then the stock market crashed a few days before the wedding.
Woolworths offered buyers one glass free with another purchase, I remember my grandfather telling me, and he sent all his relatives to the store to get a glass, accumulating 24 in all, 8 each for water, wine and cordials. I envisioned his sister and brothers, his parents, aunts and uncles, all rushing to Woolworths to claim their free glass.
My sister offered to sell my mother’s cordial glasses on eBay. I wonder what will happen to this 84-year-old set in my cabinet. I don’t use them; but I don’t want to part with them.
Do you have items you can’t discard?