Looking to the future - the future of the arts with which we have been gifted and the tools and fruits thereof. How does that sound?
This is something I have been wanting to talk about for some time. It is not meant to be at all maudlin. In fact, quite the opposite. It is about planning for future generations to take up our arts and see them preserved and perfected as we ourselves have tried to do. Since this is a tatting blog, we all know that closest to my heart is my tatting. I do love to do other things and have tools, supplies and finished pieces to be preserved in those arts as well. When I go to my tatting cabinet and pull out drawers, I can almost see each of my grandmothers with shuttles in hands and lace flying out from their fingers. It pretty much always looked like a blur to me. I have those shuttles. I see crochet hooks and knitting needles making clothing and blankets. I have those hooks and needles. It just so happened that out of nine granchildren on each side, I was the one who was interested in these particluar things. Some of my cousins have other interests and do quite well with them.
All of this to say, someone needs to be appointed as guardians of these things for the future. Most of us, no matter how humble we consider our means, have wills or some form of written instructions as to the disposition of our worldly goods when we no longer need them. Children are interested in assets and personal possessions for the most part. I have tried to cover those things. Those of you with minor children probably have guardianship papers naming who you want to raise your children in your place if necessary. My husband and I both have "Living Wills" and "Durable Power of Attorney, including medical decisions. I have started sharing lots of heirlooms with the grandchildren of my generation that I know will love them most and see that the next recipient knows the value and history of that particular piece. One thing that bothers me is that I have no one interested in learning what I know or taking it any further than it will be when I am gone. I'm sure I can not be alone in this. It could be that our girls and my brother's daughter will one day slow down enough to realize they want to learn, but I'm not looking for that to happen. They are different people and have their own lives and interests. That is not for me to control or make them feel guilty.
What I have been talking to my husband about is naming at least two of my tatting friends to be contacted about taking my tatting things and seeing them divided up where they will do the most good. That could be to help new tatters with supplies like we helped Sherry with her "Four O'Clock Rock" class. Some people might want a special shuttle to keep for their own because my dad made it or Lady Shuttle Maker made it. I don't want someone to uncover a chest of tatting one day that no one remembers to whom it belonged or what it was for. None of us want that. I want to think of my snowflakes hanging on someone's tree for many years to come and recognizing the love that went into them. (Nor would it hurt my feelings if a piece of my lace ended up in a museum.)
I recently heard someone say that all of us want to be remembered. I hope my children and their children will remember me for lots of things, mostly the love that I feel for them. Also I hope I am setting a good example for them to know what it is to lead a life of good morals and sharing what we have with others. After that, I hope someone will one day hold my shuttles in hand and say, "I remember when...."