03 May 2012

Elephant on My Mind

From Mama Talks 
 
When I was a little girl I loved to visit my Oma (grandmother in German). Her carefully placed accent pieces found a new use as my toys. My favorites were two small, hand-carved ebony elephants. They were just the right size for my small hands, and they had inlaid eyes and tiny ivory tusks. One of them was missing a tusk, but it still was perfect in my eyes. I had these elephants walk all over Oma’s furniture – pretending I was accompanying them on exciting adventures -- climbing steep mountains (the backrests of sofa and armchairs), or crossing the savannah (Oma’s parlor) in search of food. They often came to rest at the edge of the jungle, feeding on the leaves of Oma’s plants. 
 
As I grew older, I had it settled in my mind that after Grandmother’s passing, I would inherit those elephants as a treasured memento of my beloved Oma and my childhood. Unfortunately Oma developed Alzheimer’s dementia during her final years, and nobody knows what happened to the elephants. I felt really silly that even years later, I would still think about those elephants and how much it would have meant to me to have them. 


Well, I did go on some exciting adventures though – climbed a few mountains and also crossed some savannahs in the American Southwest! One day, when browsing a small antique store in Central Texas, my heart skipped a beat -- there it was: a small carved ebony elephant. When I picked it up, I noticed that one of its ivory tusks was broken off. To me it was a sign – this was even better than if it had been in perfect shape. Of course I bought it – and now it has a special place on my dresser. It still makes me smile every time I look at it …
Do you have any treasured mementos that occupy a special place in your home?