We lived in Rhode Island while I was growing up. My mother's family were all in Alabama and my father's family were all in Missouri. Obviously, we weren't raised with large gatherings of extended family. That's okay, were a close nuclear family unit. This is not to say that we didn't visit family or have family come to us, we did, just not often. Still, it was often enough to know which family members you looked forward to visiting.
One of the family members I looked forward to seeing was my Aunt Faye, my father's sister. I guess I liked her because she was a lot like my dad - same sense of humor, liked to read, and always had an interesting story to tell. She was also the one who, like me, was interested in needlework. Time passes and there's college, marriage, divorce, work, marriage, moving, a baby and sadly, I let life get too busy and lost touch with Faye and other extended family members. Not too long ago, maybe a year or so ago, I was able to reconnect with her for family tree information. We would talk for hours and I loved to hear the stories and catch up with her and I realized, even with time and distance between us, we were more alike than I knew. My Aunt Faye passed away last June.
Aunt Faye crocheted lace. She was prolific. I haven't attempted to crochet lace or knit lace or even tat lace yet, but it is on my list of "things I want to learn." When she passed, Dad brought back the mountain of lace doilies and snowflakes that she had made throughout her lifetime. Mom chose some to frame, my sister selected a couple, I framed some and kept some. There were so many left over and I knew that I wouldn't be able to use all of them but I didn't want them to go unused, unappreciated, unseen. What should I do with them?
On Wednesday evenings, I knit and crochet with a group of church ladies at our church. I took Aunt Faye's remaining lace to them last night. If anyone would appreciate the craft as much as I do, it would be these ladies. I was right. They loved them and could not believe how intricate and beautiful they were. They asked me about her and her life and her passing.
One woman took a pink square. She is in her eighties and a two-time breast cancer survivor. She lost her husband and all three of her daughters to cancer and raise two granddaughters, the youngest is now in her early twenties. She took this square to place on her table where she keeps her daughters' pictures.
One woman took a pink rectangle to place her crystal on. Her dining room is done in hues of rose and mauve and she had been looking for something just like it.
One woman took two for her bedside tables.
One woman asked if she could take the remainder to put up for auction. She and her husband are adopting a child from the Ukraine this coming spring. The child is a sixteen-year old girl, who needs a home before she's too old for the orphanage and they turn her out to God knows what kind of life. The woman and her husband need to come up with the money for travel and the miscellaneous fees that will come up. Aunt Faye never had children of her own, but she told me once that she wanted to adopt a girl but that was back in the day when they didn't let single women adopt. I thought this would be something Aunt Faye would be happy about.
At the end of our gathering time, we close in prayer. I was overwhelmed by the thanks they offered up to Aunt Faye's gifts and the blessing they asked for her lace. I know she's smiling in heaven. My hope is that her lace will be appreciated and passed on along with her memory.