Thursday, 12 December 2013

The dish

Maud Clements was dying in the nursing home surrounded by her meager possessions; they were a grubby torn bible, a faded photo of her late husband and four small china dishes that had accompanied her to her last home.

She had told her carers that they were special as they reminded her of Jack her husband.

Her family came after they had been told she had gone and saw what little of her life remained; they shook their heads and told the manager, “Just get rid of it all, it’s just rubbish”.

The manager nodded politely and instructed the cleaner to dispose of everything as the family wanted nothing.

Amanda Perry the cleaner, collected the old pieces of Maud’s life and set off for the trash bins ready to dump the lot.

As Amanda dropped the grubby, torn and broken items in the bin her eyes glimpsed at one un-chipped dish of a seaside bay; on the back Maud has stuck a label which read, “Where Jack proposed to me” so she slipped it into her pocket.


  1. The older we get the more drawn we are to certain posessions,. and I find that they are rarely the high-dollar items, but rather things such as this that hold special meaning to the owner only. We talk about how our own kids will likely have an estate sale of our belongings too, not much that is worth a great deal, and less that would have sentimental connection for them. Then again, I might be surprised what they choose to keep. One of my favorite small items from my mother was the wooden spoon she used every day of her adult life, as did her mother before her. I really liked your story, and I think it is sad that her family either didn't know or didn't care why those little dishes were treasures. Chances are without that seaside visit none of them would have come to be. I like to think that the dish held good romantic luck for Amanda, since she was kind enough to keep it. :-)

  2. I think collections are often sentimental. We have been downsizing. For us, we have found the things that hold value are not things. I know others don't agree.

  3. My mother has downsized with age. Like josie my cherished possession from her has no value to anyone but me.

  4. I wonder sometimes what will happen to my own sentimental treasures, since few have any monetary value whatsoever. But I guess when I'm gone, I won't care, will I?