I read this post from Unclutterer today and thought about what kind of legacy I have inherited and what I will leave behind. I have grown more sentimental about my grandmother in the last year. She passed away when I was 20 years-old, so my sentimentality is several years too late. But no use crying over it. I am pretty sure she’s in Heaven, so no worries. I’ll see her again.
I didn’t keep much of my grandmother’s things because I was young and didn’t have much use for the several quilts she made, or her paints, or her mountains of fabric. Her taste wasn’t exactly the same as mine and at the time, I was a college student and didn’t have a lot of space nor any plans to start a family just yet. But you know what, I’m glad that I didn’t try to keep every little bit of her stuff. It was just stuff. It didn’t hold some magic power to bring her back, or to magically make me an experienced quilter like she was.
But I did keep her knitting and crochet needles. And it was her knitting needles that started me on my knitting journey and it’s her amazing ability with a sewing machine that has me itching to use my-soon-to-be sewing machine.
But that got me thinking. What is it about my grandmother that I have? Her knitting needles aren’t special. Their value is limited. My learning how to knit, that is the legacy I want to carry on. I think that’s why knitting is so popular now. Some of the baby-boomers skipped some of the hand-craft that their mothers did. We are nostalgic and reverent of our grandmothers who lived through the Great Depression and could hold one baby on her hip and cook dinner without the use of a microwave.
I hope that I don’t ever let it become about stuff and collecting more and more stuff. It should be about remembering her skill and learning how to carry it on. Out of my grandmother’s progeny, I am the only one to carry on the tradition. I also am carrying on the last of her married name (as my middle name). If my cousin gets married, then I will be the last “Free.” There’s something special about being the one to carry all of this on. And I hope one day to pass it on to my daughter and my granddaughters, if they ever come. And if not, then I will try to teach someone else. But I hope never to leave all my junk to someone who doesn’t want it.
It’s a weird thing, a legacy. It doesn’t need to be stuff. We might as well sell it, donate it, trash it now, because the sadness surrounding getting rid of it because it’s not even worth keeping after I’m gone…what’s the point!? If it will be donated or tossed after I’m gone…it’s just taking up space. I want to leave a legacy of time spent wearing myself out for God. I want to leave a legacy of living for Christ so much that it kills me! I would love for my last breath to be sighed speaking about Christ. Because nothing I do, or accumulate, or make in this life will go with me to Heaven.
And unless it’s an original Action Comics premiering Superman, it’s not going to be worth much in the end, either.