My grandmother brought this lamp back from Mexico in 1977. It is handmade from glass and very breakable, but also very big, so she had to sit it on her lap for the entire flight home. I am sure she thought it was worth it afterwards. She brought it to the home I knew very well, on Roberta Drive. It was hung in the corner of the room above a table with a jar that always had some kind of candy in it. I wonder if that candy was meant for when her grandchildren would come over or if she ever ate any of it herself.

Both my cousin Laura and I always talked about how much we loved the lamp. When my grandmother passed away in 2007, my grandfather moved into a home for the elderly and we had to divest of a lot of their stuff. Of course, the question popped up of who would get the lamp. Both Laura and I wanted it, of course. We played rock-paper-scissors for it, and I won. I still consider it the highest stakes game of rock-paper-scissors that I have ever played.

I keep it in my bedroom now. I don’t turn it on much, but I do look at it a lot. I admit that I don’t care so much about its style and the bubbled glass panels. I care more about the stories behind the things I choose to keep than where they came from.