Monday, November 1, 2010

threads

We are all travelers.  We travel through our own time, sharing our lives as we go.  We are a sum of all of our life parts; future, present and past.  The connection to our past is what we pass on to the future, by living in the present.  The threads that connect us to the past are often tangible objects, passed on from person to person in a family. 

Today I was on a mission to clean out some of my clothes.  Organize.  Be disciplined.  Stay on track.  My family knows this is something I have to struggle with.  And today I lost that battle once again.

I had the best of intentions.  I was plowing through some things in my jewelry box (it's a big one) and I saw them.  Grandma's hankies.  The ones I wrote about not long ago.  And I took them out for a minute, just to look through them.  It had been a while since I had looked at them.  And before I knew it, I had taken them and Big Girl out to the back porch to photograph them.  And I took Grandma's rosary too.  Just because I loved the feel of the wooden beads in my hand and felt they belonged with the hankies.  I spread some of them out on the table and I shot some photos.



Some of the hankies have crocheted edges, and I am certain that those edges were probably crocheted by my Grammy.  The E on the hanky in the center stands for Elsie, my Grammy's name.  I think she must have given it to Grandma as a way of remembering her, of thinking of her when she saw it.




When I look at the fineness of the linen they are made from, and the delicate stitches of the crochet, appliques or cutwork embroidery, I realize how much time and effort went into making or choosing those hankies for Grandma.  I can tell that Grammy wanted them to be special, and picked them out with care.

I don't know the story behind the rosary.  When we were all with mom some time ago, she showed us a rosary she found in the pocket of one of Grandma's coats.  The coat had been given to her and no one realized the rosary was in it.  She had a few other things of Grandma's to give to us too, but I chose the wooden rosary, because the carving on some of the beads and the feel of the wood in my fingers was comforting to me, and appealed to the artist in me.



I decided I better get back to work cleaning out and staying on track this time.  I lasted about another five minutes and spied something me sister Vicky had made for me years ago.

More threads, and as I looked at the photos and my little snip of hair, I felt like I was five years old again.  I could remember Grammy's cat Fuzzy, and how the sides of the pool were yellow and the bottom was green, and we could sit on the side of it and let the water out (and get in trouble if we let out too much).  I could remember Mom putting on lace gloves when she dressed up for church. and the crocheted daisies that Grandma would make and then crochet together to make the baby sets she used to give away.  The pink button with the rhinestone in the middle was from a robe that Grammy sewed for me when I was little, it had a satiny feel and sheen to it and I loved it and felt so "girly" when I wore it.  There was the photo of my mom and dad on their wedding day, and another hanky that had been my mom's. 

When I look at those things, I feel connected by invisible threads to my grandparents and to all the days of my life.  I realize that I am who I am today partly because of who they were.  And even though my grandmothers are gone, I still carry them with me.  Part of the fiber of my being, the threads that make up the tapestry of my life. 

Today my own children and grandchildren are weaving their own tapestries.  I know that these tapestries will have richness and meaning in their lives, through the connection to the past.  And someday I will live on as part of that past, part of the threads of their lives.
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