Monday, December 17, 2007


For reasons I'm not prepared to go into, my father and his brother are not on speaking terms. The situation is quite sad, and I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it's broken my father's heart.

Therefore, I was very surprised when I got a facebook message from my aunt asking for my address. I haven't spoken to her for at least four years now.

I wasn't going to worry about it, thinking that she was on a Christmas card jag, or something. There has never been an official "break" in the family, after all. We just all stopped making an effort to be civil after my grandfather died in 2001.

Well, I got a package in the mail today, and it contained a rug hooking kit that belonged to my grandmother, who died in 1977.

Accompanying the kit was a hook and threader, which belonged to my great-grandmother. She died in 1950, so obviously, I never knew her.

I do know that I'm supposed to take after Annie. She was a tall, broad woman with a hearty laugh, loved music and dancing, and was the life of the party.

There was also a Little Golden Book (remember those?) of Little Red Riding Hood with my name on the inside. It was very much loved, which is a polite way saying it's in terrible shape.

Needless to say, I am stunned. Not quite speechless, but close. This is the last thing I expected to appear on my doorstep. And now, I'm wondering what to do. I absolutely am going to make this rug, there's no question. It won't be for a while, but there's a wall in the house that is screaming for a textile, and I think I just found the solution to that problem.

What I'm not sure about is how to thank my aunt. She included a very nice note, explaining that she sent this to me because I'm the "crafty one" of the cousins. Which is undoubtedly true. Lots of us are artistic, but I'm the one who really knows how to sew, knit, embroider, all that sort of stuff. I am touched by her thoughtfulness, because this is the kind of thing that gets thrown out.

I could send her a message on facebook or I could send an old-fashioned thank you note. I'm leaning towards the thank you note, because that is the proper thing to do. The question is, should I view this as an olive branch, or just de-cluttering?

I'll tell you this, for sure. I'm not telling my dad. Maybe not even my mom. Not until after the holidays, anyway.


Anonymous said...

I'd take it as an olive branch. If she was just decluttering she could have thrown it away. It was a really thoughtful gesture from her. You know the old saying "Life is Too Short"

Misstea said...

Absolutely, life is too short, and I usually have no patience for these things. In the past few days, I've moved around to the olive-branch point of view.

But, this is very tricky. I do like and respect that branch of the family, but my loyalty is to my father, no question. It's really tough, being in Safeway (or wherever), and seeing my most-loved, absolute favourite uncle (from being a kid) and not wanting to speak to him, because he treats my father like shit.

I'm feeling rather Grinch-like right now, right before Christmas morning in Whoville.

But, thanks for your comment!