Monday, March 3, 2008

Blooms of Friendship

The flowers in this picture are Camellia's. Over the years, we've made a lot of memories with the Hensley Family. One of those memories was a trip that Kathy, her sister Julia, and myself made to a Camellia garden. At the end of the trip, I bought 2 Camellia plants to bring back to Daryl, who loves to make our property bloom and who financed my trip to Georgia so I could see Kathy.

Over the years, they've gotten to be a bit of a joke. We get one, maybe 2 blooms a year, and those usually have a brown tinge to them that isn't good.

This year, I was in the backyard and realized the plants were FULL of blooms! Daryl had told me they were blooming, but never did I imagine more than the one or two brown blooms we usually got! They were loaded, full, beautiful blooms! I cut a little more than half of them, and put them inside in a vase. The humorous thing was that I found out I was allergic to them, so I put the vase on the back porch outside my kitchen window, where I enjoy them while I clean the kitchen.

Just thought you'd want to see them, Kathy!

Legacy of Love

It's been a while since I posted. We've been a little busy! After a wonderful November with the Illinois Bennett's, and a fun Christmas, we hit the new year. My Aunt Margaret passed away the first bit of January, and I was blessed to get to go home for the funeral. (Thanks, Daryl!)

Mom and I took one morning and went to my Aunt's apartment to go through her things, since Mom wanted me to choose a quilt for myself and Teresa, and some things to bring back to some of the other females in the family.

We have been through a similar set of visits to Arkansas, during which we and Daryl's siblings have gone through the stuff of his folks' house. It's been rewarding to share memories and stories, and to sort through the "stuff" together.

As I thought about the scavenger-like feeling of going through someone else's life collection, I pondered the right/wrong of it all, and came to a conclusion or two.

At the end of one's life, you need to have invested enough in others for there to be someone who wants some of your stuff. There needs to be someone out there who wants to have something of yours to keep alive the memory of things you did together, to have a piece of your legacy in tangible form. Someone needs to see the treasure in your things, just because they were yours.

Something else I learned is that even though you may not have met the people who owned some of the items, a sense of family is carried on through the legacy left in "things". It becomes a connection to the people whose names grace your family lineage.

From Margaret, I came home with a beautiful quilt that she made. She loved to quilt, and to give them as gifts. I have one she made me when Daryl and I got had fabric from all sorts of clothes I'd made as a younger girl. I ended up with a picture of my grandparents holding ME as a little baby! I have a coffee table runner now that my Grandma crocheted the border for, as well as one to take to Whitney. Julia now has a lovely broach that was Margaret's. Emily and Hannah have a piece of jewelry each. Margaret will be remembered each time we enjoy these things, and her legacy will live on. What is the legacy we will remember? Margaret was always willing to play, to do, just to peacefully be. She never worried about winning games, and always had an "available" heart. She taught me to have an available heart, too.

From Mom Bennett, I have her old nut chopper. I remember her using it for all those wonderful desserts she made for every occasion. At one time, she wrote down what everybody's favorite dessert was, and tried to have it made when they arrived at her house. She also mistakenly thought Daryl loved Lazy Daisy Cake, but that's another story! I got the pickle bowl and the Cranberry Fluff bowl, and the silver set that was "the one thing she ever won". Where Vanita could have appropriately claimed anything she wanted as the only birth daughter, she open-handedly shared those memories around the family. We shared things that Mom Bennett had from generations who went before her.

I guess the final analysis is that I hope someone wants my stuff when I pass on. That there will be a few things that my kids and off spring will sit down and remember me as they go through them. That the funny stories will be remembered, and that my life will have been such that there are good memories to be had when they look at those things. I have little doubt that MY Aunt Margaret's quilt and Mom Bennett's things will be among those things. May my legacy, like Aunt Margaret's, be a Legacy of Love.