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Revelations: Give us this day

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Oct. 18, 2013 at 5:18 a.m.

Jennifer Preyss

The other day, a friend asked me to join him on his lunch hour to go shopping for shoulder pads.

A strange request, sure, but his Halloween costume was in need of a little sprucing, especially in the shoulder area, and he didn't want to go alone.

I agreed, and we drove to the nearest thrift store.

While inside the store, I perused the many racks of used items, some of them I even considered purchasing.

While my friend was on the other side of the store, feeling under the garments for appropriate shaped shoulder pads for his costume, I moseyed to the kitchen wares.

I stumbled upon a cream-colored, porcelain oval bread dish, that read, "Give us this day" our daily bread.

Amid the raised wheat carved into the dish, a dedication was written for Georgie and Zigmund Cernoch. The plate was a gift on the couple's 25th anniversary in 1969, who were married in St. Michael's Catholic Church in Weimar 25 years earlier.

I stared at the plate, and held it in my hands. I turned it over. A woman named Adela signed her name in the porcelain backing. She apparently cared enough about the couple to handcraft their silver anniversary present.

Next to Adela's name was a red marking ".50"

That's all the plate was worth.

When I went home, I looked up the Cernoch family on the Internet, eager to return the plate to the family or at least learn more about Georgie and Zigmund.

I contacted one of the relatives, and learned the couple was married until the mid-2000s, when Georgie passed away. Zigmund died, too, three years ago.

The family was likely clearing away many of the couple's items when the bread dish ended up at the thrift store.

I purchased the plate, and it's now in my kitchen.

And each time I look at it, it reminds me of family and marriage and the things friends go out of their way to do on special anniversaries.

It also reminds me that so much of my life awaits me. And at the end of life, it doesn't matter what you own or what gifts you receive along the way. The best gifts are exchanged in hugs and kind words.

The rest of it ends up at a thrift store, marked down to 50 cents.

Jennifer Preyss is a reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or jlpreyss@vicad.com or @jenniferpreyss on Twitter.

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