At funerals, many people expect to have a sobering experience. That was not, however, the send off given last week at my Grandma Norene’s. My daughter commented that she didn’t expect so much laughter to be found at such an occasion, but that simply personified my grandmother’s life. She was a teacher to me in many ways. She taught me to love family. To be present for others. To give. To receive. Yet at her graveside I was struck by the overwhelming knowledge that she had passed a significant legacy down to me and many of her posterity through her love of creativity. She never considered herself an artist, yet she painted and painted many pictures. She gardened, she sewed, she crocheted. She was forever working on a project and happiest when doing so.
As I thought about her unique style, I realized that she had always marched to the beat of her own drum. Her grandchildren shared memories of her always speaking her mind. Never leaving her house without her lipstick on. Always quick to smile. And never at the loss for words. Some of her little sayings will stick with me forever. She was the most generous giver, but knew how to take time for herself. She used to say that she was going out “bug hunting,” which meant that she wanted to go alone. An artist/creative needs those times to reconnect with their core. She knew that. I hope to pass on that same legacy not only with my own children, but with other people in who may have lost their way as well.