Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Life's Riches

Life's riches other rooms adorn, but in a kitchen, home is born.
The attic purge continues, and the other day I came across this. My mother gave it to me a few years ago and of course I tucked it away, determined to finish the stitch work someday. When I mentioned to her that I'd rediscovered it, she told me that my grandmother gave it to her when she was preparing to move into a care facility.

It was started by my great grandmother, Pearl, who was a milliner and accomplished seamstress. In photos, she has a solid, serious, imposing air about her. I know she adored her daughter and dressed her in beautiful handmade clothes. As a little girl, Grandma was all bright eyes, rosy cheeks, and dark curls. Her dresses and coats spoke of how precious she was to her mother, who raised this little girl largely on her own. 

I find thread to match, and begin to work on the fireplace. My stitches blend seamlessly with those my great grandmother started years ago (how many? Fifty? Sixty? More?) and this piece is a few steps closer to its destiny: a sweet piece of handwork, framed and adorning a kitchen wall. I can imagine how satisfying it will be, to finish something my great grandmother didn't find the time to complete. 

It kind of makes me wonder about the unfinished projects I will inevitably leave behind, and the great granddaughter I'll never meet who will find it in her attic. She'll see me in photographs and wonder about who I was, then will take up her needle and begin to stitch.



7 comments:

  1. Her stitches blend seamlessly with yours...the unity in that. Passed down by the blood you carry inside of you. The yearning to finish something so beautiful that your great-grandmother started...slowly you will finish it and it will passed down to yours.

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  2. Tears in our eyes!
    Love Marilyn & your Mom

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  3. Tears in our eyes!
    Love Marilyn & your Mom

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  4. My mom died almost 17 years ago and I inherited her sewing machine along with hoards of supplies, fabric scraps, unfinished mystery projects, etc. She was definitely a planner and a bargain shopper. I am still replacing needles with the ones she bought back in the 80's. I finally broke down and threw out the collection of threads that were too old to be used. Each time I find a half-finished project or stash of supplies, I feel her presence. Thank you for posting your experience and for the lovely reminder of just how meaningful our work is.

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  5. That is so beautiful, I love how your stitches are blending with your great grandmothers over the years. It'll be wonderful to finish it and eventually pass it down your family...

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  6. Mmm. What a beautiful continuity. Perhaps I should be perusing some of my old stashes. Who knows what treasure I may have tucked away before I valued these skills...

    Blessings, Debbie

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  7. Wow! What a wonderful piece of family history for you! And something that you will be able to treasure and know you had a hand in completing. Very cool :-)

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