Friday, March 02, 2007

the beauty of the journey


I recently had the curious opportunity to go through my Grandmother’s belongings after her death a few weeks ago. It was something my mother had been dreading, so I wanted to be there for her. I grew up far away from my Grandparents (they were in Los Angeles, we were in Iowa) so their home lived mainly in my memory. To walk through it the first time after her passing was so strange, to know that those memories and parts of their home could now live on in mine...

My mother showed me some things she thought I would find of interest: my Grandma’s amazing collection of jewelry, a drawer of vintage gloves, a closet full of fragile silk scarves, a cedar chest with journals, dolls and linens that belonged to my Great-Grandmother. The more excited we got, the more wrong it seemed. My Grandma was dead, shouldn’t we be mourning?


But mourning almost seemed selfish as well. My Grandma was 86, she’d had a long life full of family and love. Her husband of over half a decade had been dead for 14 years and she missed him. She’d had a stroke and was getting frail. She was ready to go, so when she quit eating and started to fade away we all knew it was okay. We were lucky to have so much time with her, and so blessed to have the opportunity to let her know how much we loved her.


My Grandparents loved beautiful things, just as I do, and collected them with a vengeance. Going through their belongings, I considered how happy it made me to know that my loved ones would someday be doing the same thing with all of the things that brought me joy. I am so privileged to be a part of the long line of those who appreciate beauty. I feel like the broken, tarnished lattice-work bracelet was saved just for me. The dried-out watercolor tin, the dusty dishcloths, the half-filled ledger were all waiting for me to love them. My Grandparents would be so happy to know that their beloved treasures are still cherished, and I’m so lucky to have such wonderful memories in my home and in my heart.

10 comments:

Jenn said...

I had the same sort of experience when my grandmother died, and I went to help my mother take care of her things. A child of the depression, she saved everything, so there was a lot of junk in there. But, there were also treasures that now live in my home, and that I love to have around me...they make my life a bit more beautiful, and seem to bring my family a bit closer.

tyn said...

I have been there too, and though I was sad, I was happy that the things she loved, I loved too. Things she had forgotten she had, or thought of no use, brougt me glee, and her memory lives on as we use these items and talk of her and remember.

jenny vorwaller said...

what a beautiful story, thank you for sharing, xo

Silver Maple Leaf said...

what a treasure she left behind for you. I didn't have anything like that hen my grandmother died, she as a very poor woman her entire life

Amy said...

Yes I"ve recently had the pleasure if being given a few treasured pieces from my grandparents estate and it's so lovely to be able to use and cherish things they loved :-)

leslie said...

lovely post

Barb said...

"I am so privileged to be a part of the long line of those who appreciate beauty."
What a lovely sentiment. I can see the dusty cloths...the paint palette...
Any grandma would smile at your adoration.

For Love of Home said...

I was very young when my Grandmother passed away. She was so special to me even though I only saw her a few times a year until I was about 8. I would pass up outings with my family on vacations to Wisconsin just to stay with her. I have her autograph book from school, and I will cherish it always.

Anonymous said...

This story make me feel the world's beauty!

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