As one enjoying the last chapters of life, I have read a lot about organizing financial matters, making end-of-life plans, downsizing, and so forth. Sometimes included among these “wonderful” topics is that of leaving a legacy.
Sure, I could write letters to my children and grandchildren, encouraging them to be kind and loving, care for the earth, stay close to their Creator, and leave the world a better place because of the lives they live; I may do that. I can make lists about who gets the china, the silver, the jewelry.
A posting in Facebook recently made me think of a different type of legacy members of my generation could leave. This person, whom I don’t even know, posted a photo of two small crosses that her grandmother had tatted many years ago that were a precious memento. This picture generated many comments from her friends who either remembered their own grandmothers enjoying that craft or were envious that they didn’t know how to do it or had never even heard of “tatting.”
I must admit I don’t know how to tat, although my mother did until her arthritis stilled her hands. I found good beginner videos on YouTube, so maybe someday. But I do know how to knit and sew. I know how to play bridge and mah jongg. I did try to teach my daughter how to knit once while she helped me recover from a knee replacement. It was a slow process, but one that brought a lot of laughs as each row she knitted ended up with a different number of stitches than what she started with. She eventually mastered at least the fundamentals of knitting, but then cast that aside when the time restraints of mothering began.
My father taught me how to play cribbage, and she’s learned that from me. I hope she will pass that along to her daughter — to be played on a real board with real pegs, not on a computer screen!
I can only hope that today’s young people will take some time away from their electronics and explore the arts and crafts that have been passed down for many generations. I know I for one, am going to get out the knitting needles and dust off my sewing machine when my seven-year-old granddaughter comes to town. Many years from now maybe she’ll say, “My Grandma taught me that.” And who knows, maybe we’ll both learn to tat.
And then I’ll write that letter about making the world a better place.