So far this year my decluttering efforts have been focused on the things I want to get rid of. All very necessary as there is so much that needs to go, but this month I'm having a bit of a change and will be looking at the special items I want to keep.
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1999 was not a good year for me. Actually, that's a bit of an understatement - it was a terrible year when I didn't work at all as I was suffering from a major bout of depression. This was the year I started to use candles around the house, something I'd not bothered with before and which Ced had no interest in at all. It was a recommendation from the therapist which got me started on that track, using them as a means of signifying a period of time for me to relax and focus on positive thinking.
I did as suggested but didn't like extinguishing the candles, so Ced decided that I needed a proper candle snuffer and off we went to town to look for one. But no luck. There wasn't a lot of choice and they were all cheap and nasty and it was a shopping trip that ended in frustration and tears, a reaction that I can now assign to the depression but I couldn't see that at the time.
A couple of days later, Ced presented me with the candle snuffer you can see in the photo above. He'd gone back to buy one of the cheap ones and had given it a make-over; he did all the brass work, removing the rough edges from the casting and improving the engraving, and arranged for one of his friends to make the ebony handle for it. I cried again but this time they were happy tears.
He wasn't at ease with talking about the depression or dealing with how I was feeling but he was thoughtful in his own way and was brilliant on the practical side of things. It's a shame I don't have a before photo so that you can see what a fantastic job he did. I remember his thoughtful gift as being one of the triggers that started me on the road to recovery and I treasure it even more now as it is one of the few examples I'll keep of his work.