Today's guest is new to me and out blog and brought to us by Tyndale Publishing, so please welcome Heidi Chiavaroli....
Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston’s Freedom Trail. She writes women's fiction and won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. Her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, releases from Tyndale House Publishers in August 2017. Heidi makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle. Visit her online at HeidiChiavaroli.com.
A Treasure from the Past
I stood in the funeral home, staring at the painting. It was beautiful, of a young African American girl wearing a headdress. The faint lines of brushstrokes and vivid color came alive to me, and it was here—not in the photograph of my once-young great-grandmother sitting beside the painting—that I felt the remembered presence of Great-Grammy the most. Here, in her beautiful creation, did I feel the past and present come together.
I’d grown up with Great-Grammy as my neighbor. She took care of me and my sister often. And when I became interested in drawing, she encouraged my love to create.
There was something special about Great-Grammy. Something . . . spunky. She was gorgeous and glamorous, one of the first women in Massachusetts to wear pants (gasp!) to work. And Great-Grammy was talented—she amazed me with her gift of painting.
Now, about to enter the room where I would say my final good-byes, I lingered at the painting of the young girl, imagined my grandmother bringing her to life with skilled hands.
That was more than a year ago. Just last month, my family celebrated a wedding. Following the reception, we went to my great-aunt’s home to continue the party. My aunt prompted us to go into her finished basement and peruse Great-Grammy’s many paintings—and to take one if we wanted.
When I looked over all the lovely paintings—each a part of my grandmother—one in particular caught my eye. To me, it was obviously the best. Why hadn’t one of my cousins or aunts or uncles taken it yet? As I scooped it up, my family affirmed how the painting suited me. And as I held it, I felt the grand orchestration of the moment. Such a small thing, but God was in it. In some ways, it was as if my grandmother—in her desire to create—had made the painting for me. A small gift, a small legacy, for me to remember her by.
In my book, Freedom’s Ring, Brad gives Annie a ring to comfort her after she is injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. When they reunite two years later, they search for the history behind the heirloom. Although Brad has had the ring for years, and is attached to it because of circumstances regarding his time in Iraq, he has never looked further until Annie inspires him to do so.
Treasures from the past are all around us. It’s why I love hanging out at antique shops, why I can’t get enough of the Freedom Trail and other local history. Though we are often caught up in the here and now, the past holds riches we won’t see unless we look. An old ring, a dusty painting, a chipped piece of furniture. Treasure—maybe that of your own family—is all around us if we just have the eyes to see.
Hope you enjoyed today's spotlight and will join me each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.
Until next time, take care and God Bless.