I created ‘The Memory Vase™’ as a Christmas gift for my mother when we lived many miles apart. She had always been my best friend and I missed her terribly. I filled it with many memories that we had shared together throughout the years. We both continued to fill out the ‘Remember When’ cards and added them to the Memory Vase. I finally convinced her to move to Florida to become my personal assistant and she couldn’t resist. For many years we filled that very vase. I traveled for work so she moved into my home and took care of everything while I was gone Monday through Friday. We continued to make memories, even the simplest silly memories . . . we added to that vase.
In December 2008 my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I closed my company and stopped traveling in order to care for my mother. She had Doctor’s appointments daily, sometimes multiple appointments in one day. We decided that every night prior to going to bed we were going to pull out two memories each and read them aloud. Of course, that led to laughter and conversation about those memories that had we not written out, would have gone forgotten.
She beat breast cancer and was now cancer-free; however, we continued to review the memories every evening. She was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which had metastasized to her liver. They gave her 3 – 5 months to live. Again, we continued pulling out memories and reflecting on the joy of our past. She fought for another 15 months (defeating all odds) when she joined God in heaven.
I now possess the Memory Vase that I had gifted her with so many years ago with all of those wonderful memories that my best friend and I had shared through our many years together. I continue to reach into that vase every night to remind myself what a wonderful life experience I had with my mother. Each one makes me smile or just laugh out loud and I will talk to her about each one knowing she is still with me spiritually.
This is a gift that I gave to my mother to bring joy to her life and now I find that this is a gift to me. The Memory Vase continues to remind me of the spectacular life we shared and will continue to do so until my dying day!
When my Grandmother turned 75, we had a huge gathering of friends and family. I presented the Memory Vase at the party and everyone had written memories they had shared with my Grandmother. The memories grew quite quickly and that was a gift that brought my Grandmother joy when she read the many memories that all her loved ones had with her.
Unfortunately, she had later been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As time went on, she continued to lose all of her past memories. As she lay on her deathbed unresponsive at the age of 81, her immediate family surrounded her and we read those memories aloud and discussed in more detail those precious times. I believe she could hear each and every word. That very night, she slipped peacefully into heaven where her wonderful memories will never be forgotten!