I'm not sure exactly why it is I crave ties to my family's history. Perhaps it's because my biological father's side is mostly a blank. He died about 14 years ago and we'd been estranged for many years before that. I didn't really know his brother, my uncle, and his parents were not young when I was born. In fact, they were both born in the 1800s. So I don't know much about them.
Instead I cling to what I have from my mother's side. I love seeing pictures of my G'Pa and Mana when they were young, I've always tried (and mostly failed) to find physical resemblances there too. I can look at my brother and one of my sisters and see how they look like our grandparents, and somehow that's comforting to me.
I love it that sewing is something I share with my aunt after whom I'm named, and my grandmother. My mother has sewn all her life too but her interests lie more in creating artisan quilts rather than clothing. And we are all gourmet cooks, we cannot help it. I think it's just innate and even though I tried not to get interested in cooking well, I did anyway. I'm (secretly) pleased that my younger son has this ability and interest too. He's fearless in the kitchen and I smile when I see him in action (and I smile more when I eat his food -- the man can cook).
Last week I got an email from my aunt Liz. She mentioned that she had some family things of Mana's -- old teacups and some saucers and stuff. Aunt Liz and my uncle are moving and she's ready to pass those things along but wasn't sure if anyone would want them. My mother knows me well and told Liz she might see if I were interested. Well of course I was, and on Thursday the box arrived.
I have to say, I thought there'd be a few cups and such but instead the box was full. It was like Christmas opening all those lovely things. I've had a chance now to get them arranged in our built in display cabinet in the dining room and I think they look lovely there.
With the exception of the clock (which is from Kent's side of the family) and the framed wax display to the right of the clock (oh and the cat on the top shelf), all of these things are from my family. The pig on the bottom shelf is my mother's piggy bank when she was a girl leaving home, and the jar on the top shelf toward the right is also my grandmother's and held some sort of scented leaves. Everything else was in the box from my aunt -- and in the cabinet to the left, I've got the tea cups and saucers and dessert plates.
I have been smiling all day, just feeling a little more connected to my family. As I said, I don't know why I'm wired this way. I just know that I am and having these things to cherish and take care of and at some point pass on to the next family historian/caretaker fills me with joy.