ConnectionsWhen I glance over the top of my computer's monitor, one of the items directly in my line of sight is a painting my husband's grandmother made of the family farm back in Denmark. She never saw the farm; her painting is based on a photograph her mother brought with her when she emigrated to America. Both the painting and the photograph are part of our connections with family members no longer with us.
His grandmother also stitched a quilt of fabric scraps from the dresses she made for my mother-in-law when she was a young girl. We'll pass that quilt to our daughter, the latest in a long line of Kates, along with photos of ancestors in ruffled Victorian gowns and Edwardian wasp-waisted skirts and oversized bows pinned in 1930s hairstyles.
I used to wonder what I could add to the collection of artwork, quilts, needle-pointed chair seats, painted tea sets, and the dozens of other hand-crafted items each generation of McLaughlin women have contributed to the collection of heirlooms. The other day I realized what that something would be: my books. I'll make sure a copy of each one gets tucked into the chest my daughter inherited, carefully wrapped and placed between the layers of embroidered linens and delicate baby clothes. It's a wonderful feeling to know I'll be connecting, in my own way, with generations to come.