I was so sad that people didn’t know who Erma Bombeck was. She was an amazing woman who had a sense of humor like no other. She could take ordinary things in life and make the seem so very extraordinary. This story had been passed around about and posted everywhere, it even hangs in my house. People take it down and read it.
Our Family Jewels Sparkle on Film
by Erma Bombeck
“There is a small closet in our house where we store the family jewels. There is no safe in the wall and no lock on the door. There are just boxes lining the floor and stacked on the shelves. They contain picture albums, home movies, slides, and packets of photographs.
We hoard them as if they are going to support us in our old age. To five a single print away is unthinkable. It would be like giving up a child. Our entire family had always treated snapshots with a reverence reserved for icons and cars that run.
My Aunt Mildred (God rest her sticky-fingered soul) used to lift one or two pictures every time she was permitted to shuffle through them. She never took anything else – only photographs. When she died (and her pictures were obviously out of probate), her sisters went through her albums and screamed “So this is where the picture of Dad riding a horse went!” Families have split over lesser altercations.
My mother, who is in her 80’s, is taking no chances. A couple of years ago, she started dispersing her photos. (We wouldn’t want a picture of me, naked at two months, to fall into the wrong hands, would we?)
I am not ready to distribute my wealth until my children show a little more responsibility. At the moment they’re too busy living in the present to sift through their past. The longer they live, the more they will need to know who made the trip with them.
How strange that burglars who invade our homes and steal guns, TV sets, VCR’s and jewelry, leave behind the only things that have any real value to us – images of our past.
There isn’t one of us who wouldn’t pay ransom to get back baby pictures of our children. Ask any mother what she would risk her neck to save if there was a fire. The answer is never a piece of silver or a family heirloom. It’s always an album or a canister of 8 mm film. Some jewels tarnish with age. These seem to get only brighter and more dazzling with each year.”
It’s so true and it reminds of things that matter and it does it with a touch of humor, that sticky-fingered soul. She wrote some great things – watch for some more of her quotes.