Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The legacy continues (part 2...)

So after three and a half weeks since mom passed away we have spent 30 hours on the road and I have now returned to work. We have had the joy of welcoming a new Sallee into the family, my little niece Anna Marie. And what a little doll she has been, she is so sweet, quiet, wide eyed. It's so bittersweet. This joyous little angel has joined the family. Mom is still very missed but her legacy lives on. She lives on in the green eyes I see in Anna. She lives on in projects that are yet to be finished at my house and hers.  While mom was sick we put most everything on hold and focused our efforts on just spending time as a family, so a lot of other things got put on the back burner.  Mom was a true renaissance woman, she was a singer and worshipper, a creative crafter, great cook and really an artist when it came to vision with wood working and design. Since mom's absence,  I have been amazed how much her gifts and talents sort of flow through me, and that excites me. It really has nothing to do with glorifying my own ability. When I think about my future children and my nieces I know that they will know their grandmother so much better because of her legacy that she has left behind as I share and enjoy her hobbies and gifts.

In my last entry, I shared that I have had some time off. I have mostly been writing and drawing and cooking. In fact, think I am finally writing that book I allude to in the intro of the blog. But this book may not be what you are expecting. Mike has been enjoying all the cooking projects too.  But I have also allowed myself to keep running into Mom's gifts these past two weeks. This week was to continue refinishing furniture.  I refinished some furniture and started going through some of the the bags of mom's belongings that she started giving me back in October.
First the ladder, it was this old dumpster worthy barn ladder that was in the attic in our house. It's faded, has a faded look and I had this vision for cleaning it up and either painting it or something and hanging it on a wall or using it hang stuff on like towels in the bathroom or blankets.  I wish I had taken a picture of it before. To give you a visual it was covered in paint and spackle and I couldn't pick it up without getting a splinter, possibly a lost cause.  Multiple attempts at sanding a smoothing seemed pointless, and yet I couldn't give up.  I realized how my persistent vision for this thing is so much like mom.  She wouldn't ever give up on a wood piece, it could always get a second life.  The things she could do to an old piece of furniture were amazing given the time and persistence.
So last week Missouri was blessed with multiple 50 degree days this week which allowed me to get outside and work over the ladder I have had waiting in the garage.  I honestly  wasn't sure about it, even the chisel was a challenge and I was worried I was going to break the wood or ruin it trying.  I couldn't believe I was able to get the paint off afterall.  The final product looks better than I had hoped and has quickly found a place in my living room
The next piece was Mikes old sewing table that he used as a nightstand back in Georgia. This was my first attempt at painted furniture that I purposely distressed. Again, no before picture but lets just say, now I think I feel like keeping this old table. It actually has me excited about finishing more pieces, including ones that mom had plans for.  I can't tell you how amazing that feels.  Last October I wept each time I went into my parents basement and walked by her work bench and saw its abandoned state. It broke my heart to see the ideas and projects waiting, her vision, her creativity were locked away in her sick body. I was just desperate and hopeless, wanting some way get those ideas out, help her somehow. But mom has left us and the unfinished lampstand and the two mirrors  still remain unfinished in the basement and it still hurts. Today somehow I have new found hope. I have hope for the gifts God has given that I get to share.

I know the hope I have found is from the Lord, and I know this pain and grieving I'm  experiencing is one these momentary trials, I have always been encouraged to stand strong through. The 2-3 months before mom died I  was already grieving as I saw mom abandon more and more of all that made mom who she was. Her fatigue and loss of strength kept her out of the kitchen, left projects and crafts half finished at her work table, kept her from staying up the late hours, kept her from the weekends on the lake,  the disease kept her from so many things she enjoyed.  Now the disease can't take anything else from her and instead the craft projects and the late night cooking projects continue, and gladly so.

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