My grandmother was very specific about specific things – especially near the end.
Specifically, she wanted me to have a collection of colored glasses crafted in Belgium. While honoring her request and packing up these specific glasses, I came across a long since forgotten silver plated lotus flower candelabra centerpiece.
Likely, from the seventies. I thought.
“Do you think anyone wants this?” I asked my Mom.
“I don’t think anyone even ever knew it was there.”
“Do you mind if I take it home? If it turns out to be special to someone, I’ll return it.”
My Mom motioned for me to pack it up with the glasses.
The piece is clearly mass-produced. Even somewhat common. Decades of tarnish made it almost gritty (and most definitely dirty) to touch. And yet, still useful and very pretty.
Tonight, after dinner, I sat down with a box of baking soda, a kettle of warm water, a small stack of towels and a readied elbow.
Two hours later, she shined.
I think the real ‘wow,’ of Before & After rests in the power of being seen. Before…before love, intention and attention too much is (and far too many are) missed. And after…well, after we see what of course was always actually right there.
I’ve decided that my new-old-silver plated-lotus flower-candelabra-centerpiece will reflect my intention for the new year. To see and be seen, even (especially) through the grime.