This is not about the funeral.
Before the funeral, we went to Grandma's old house, which is where many family members already were, as they had been with Grandma up til the end. But it had been some days since Grandma had died, so by the time I got there, the photos and other things that usually were on Grandma's walls were gone.
There was a particular thing that was already packed away. You see, when I was 20, I was a photographic subject for a friend for a project she was working on, and in exchange, she gave me a portrait of myself. It's one of my favorites.
Then I turned it into a cross-stitch pattern, made it up, framed it, and gave it to Grandma.
See if you can find it in this picture:
So when I got to Grandma's house, my mother had already taken it down and was going to take to her home. That didn't surprise me, and that's actually what I had intended to do with it.
Before I had my bodily breakdown in 2010, I used to make lots of stuff as gifts - cross stitch, crochet, and knit primarily, but also some sewn stuff and I also baked. I don't do much of any of that anymore.
I do buy presents for people though. A few of the items I had bought for Grandma were still on the walls - a few items from when I was in Japan in 1994. And something I had bought for Grandma a couple years ago when I was in Bermuda.
So I've taken them back, and given them to Stu & the girls....alas, I can't remember what the Japanese items actually have written on them. It's been a while. I'm pretty sure I didn't know what was on them when I bought them.
But it's made me think of the various gifts that we keep passing along in the family. And of course, some are more intangible than others. It's tough to pass on the memories...yes, we tell stories, but if you weren't there ...well, you're not going to remember them. That's okay.
But the gift... the gift of telling stories, the gift of talking to anyone, the gift of wonder -- I keep carrying those around with me. I got those gifts from not only Grandma, but my dad.
And I hope to pass them on to my kids.
Re-gifting isn't bad, when the gift is something that others will also enjoy.