Today I’m thinking about my Mother and Grandmothers and what their legacy and heredity has given me. To mention a few…..
My maternal grandmother’s mother, Ingeborg, was Swedish. She was a great seamstress. During the depression she would sew lovely dresses for others, then out of the leftover fabric make beautiful dresses for her daughter. She was talented but also suffered with anxieties and worries that her husband would try to soothe.
Her daughter Linnea is my Grandma, and I’ve told you a lot about her. My home is adorned with things she has made, especially at Christmas time. And yet she said to me recently that she didn’t see herself as creative. I said ‘but what about all the lovely things you’ve made for everyone over the years?’ “Well, sure if you count using a pattern.” It has me chuckling, and yet as I have spoken to her about her life I see many feelings of inadequacy and just generally her being hard on herself. So much of her personality and behavior as a youth was similar to mine….being shy, not wanting to try things or meet new people…..and yet she is hard on herself, where I have learned to laugh and say ‘Yep, that’s me, that’s just how I was.’ I’m a lot more forgiving of myself now. Where did I learn that?
My mother is insightful, religious and incredibly creative. She loves children. She raised twelve of her own and when the youngest entered first grade Mom went back to school for her teaching degree. She is currently a 1st grade teacher, but she brings an extra dose of art and music, often at her own time and expense.
It was common for our house to be in a turmoil with a creative project, and as children there was an endless supply of art materials, fabric scraps, books and costumes, and we could be up to something crazy, messy, and creative and there never was much more than a raised eyebrow. Creative expression was valued highly in our home.
While all the women in my family bring a strong spiritual heritage, including visions and dreams that would come to pass, my paternal grandmother’s mother had an exceptional trial in this way. She was forewarned of the death of her husband and sons in a series of tragedies. The household that once earned money through singing and a family band that would play at dances several times a week, and could brag of a winning baseball team comprised of the brothers, became contracted within a few short years.
Her daughter Mabel was my grandmother on my dad’s side. After the passing of her brothers she would sing church hymns at the piano with her sister. As a grandmother she loved to tell stories to her grandchildren, from recounting the family history to fantastic tales of Chocolate Town. She also showed her love through food. As a young adult I was visiting, and she asked what I would like for breakfast. I told her not to worry, I just would have a little cereal. In the morning I woke to oatmeal, bacon, pancakes, juice and fruit. “Grandma, I said I just wanted cereal.” I tried to say nicely. “Oh, yes, there’s cereal over there too.” You couldn’t argue with the dear woman. Rationalizing that it was only a few days I smiled and ate the food. Grandma always spoke to us about the gospel, the Savior, and going to the temple. She wanted all of her descendants to have the gospel in their lives.
Thank you lovely ladies for making me who I am today. It is an honor being your daughter and granddaughter.