• Phoebe Wilby

My Precious ...

Updated: Sep 3, 2017


You will remember I mentioned that my house was broken into several years ago now and as a result, I lost my laptop with a lot of my writing on it. Well, that’s not the only thing I lost in that incident. I also lost a whole lot of DVDs, some jewellery and the box it was all in as well as other relatively expensive things.


If you know me well, you’ll know I don’t wear a lot of jewellery, but I did have some lovely pieces left over from an episode of network marketing that failed miserably. They were lovely, but they really were not worth much, and certainly the thief wouldn’t have made much out of it, but amongst my ‘junk’ jewellery were two pieces I absolutely loved, not for their monetary value, although either could have been valuable, I really didn’t know, but for their sentimental value.


The first was a pearl ring my mother had given me for my sixteenth birthday, too many years ago now to count. She’d had this pearl that was given to her by … well I’m not sure who gave it to her … and she had it set in a sterling silver band. It didn’t even fit me anymore, but I had intended to pass it to one of my daughters on their sixteenth birthday, to start a tradition I hoped would be carried on down the ages. The theft put paid to that dream!


The second item was an old cameo ring that my grandmother had given me. It was rather large, and so I didn’t wear it much, but I loved it – again, for the sentimental value. I have no idea how much this was really worth either, but I do know it was a limited edition; it was numbered and had one of those adjustable bands that were the done thing back in the day. I have a sneaky suspicion it belonged to her mother and may have come over to Australia with her from York, but I can’t be sure. This was also going to be passed to one of my daughters and another dream tradition was quashed. We had insurance and was able to replace most of what was stolen, but it was these three precious things that no insurance pay out could compensate me for. They were irreplaceable.


Remembering this incident has prompted some introspection about the value I place on things. Losing my writing and those precious rings hurt me deeply. Apart from the obvious feelings of violation from the house invasion, I felt a piece of me had gone. However, as important as these items were to me, their loss pales into insignificance when I think it could have been a family member I had lost instead.


The lesson for me from this memory is to determine what it is I treasure most, and I have come to the conclusion that it is my family. It is difficult for me with my family so far spread. My eldest son lives in Germany; my two other sons and their families live in Australia; my mother, a brother, a couple of sisters and their families live in New Zealand; another brother and his family live in Hawaii, and I have numerous cousins, aunties, uncles, nieces and nephews living all over the world. Only my husband and two daughters actually live in the same country as me. And yet each and every one of them is precious to me, more precious than any material thing I may have.


I’ve chosen this picture of my children on Roborough Rock (near the village of Crapstone – just had to get that in there) to illustrate what I deem to be most precious. Everyone has grown older and the family itself has changed and been added to since this picture was taken, yet each addition increases my family’s value to me. We haven’t been together since this picture was taken. I hope we can be again – really soon! My precious treasure. My family.

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© 2015 by Phoebe Wilby.