Do you have pieces of clothing or some other fabric you saved from your grandmother? Maybe it is her wedding gown, favorite dress, iconic apron, something she crocheted or quilted, handkerchiefs, or even a tablecloth? Remembrance keepsakes created from these precious things helps connect generations in a special way. When there is something physical in front of you, it can reach into your memory to recreate a feeling or moment that may otherwise be lost.
Just the word “grandmother” brings a warm feeling to our hearts. She is the one you could talk to without judgement, learn stories of a time so different from ours, and make you feel like the most important person in the world.
Are there little things that remind you of your grandmother? Mine always had a box of Chiclets (those little square pieces of gum), her charm bracelet jangled when she moved, and she made these “magic” desserts with pudding and jello in layers and we could never figure out how she did it.
When we lost my grandmother, we created angel ornaments from her pjs and gave them to the family for Christmas. You can read more about that here. Since then, we have been helping others remember their grandmothers by transforming textiles they saved into remembrance keepsakes to share with their family.
Sometimes we even have the rare opportunity to help a family honor two grandmothers. When both grandmothers are named Grace, you know that is something special.
Christy brought us a shirt, pair of pants, and charms, that belonged to her mother, and her grandmother’s handkerchiefs and wedding rings, and asked us to create remembrance keepsakes for her to share with her family. The goal was to have a gift for everyone, siblings and grandchildren.
We began with the handkerchiefs and designed pillows for Christy’s siblings and cousins in remembrance of their grandmother. Christy and I went through the beautiful handkerchiefs together to coordinate the colors and styles so that each pillow would have a different one on either side.
Then we decided to create ornaments for Christy’s mother’s grandchildren, many of whom did not have the opportunity to meet “Grandma Grace”. Hearts for the boys and angels for the girls. Each child was given a charm from the bracelet which was attached to their ornament. Our hope is that each time the ornament is hung on the tree, stories are told and memories are shared.
Sharing stories of generations before us remains an important part of our family history. If we don’t talk about them, they get lost. Sharing the trials and triumphs of past generations with the next generation helps them gain perspective, give them deep roots, and the courage to sprout wings.
What are the little things you remember about your grandmother?