Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Grandma's Animal Families

I've struggled a bit with the Unravelling- Favourites photo assignment and I'm not sure why. But as I thought about more of my favourite things I remembered my Grandmother's collection of Animal Families. As long as I can recall she collected these little figurines. She displayed them on one of her window sills. As a little girl I remember her showing me her latest addition. I also remember her sharing about different types of families; some had lots of children, some no children, some with only a mom or dad. Some were blended families and some had adopted children. (In fact the sheep family is just that. Two of the little lambs have different faces than the other little lamb.) I think she even had several single member families.

I think she had upwards of 50+ families - farm animals, sea creatures, even some insects. When she died my dad and his siblings split up the collection and my father graciously gave me and my sisters each three families.

I had forgotten how special these little things are to me. They were on a kitchen shelf just catching dust. I washed each one individually and found myself talking to the little things. I wondered if my grandmother did the same thing when she dusted them.

As I write these words I realize how much I miss her. She died in 1995 which was before I knew for sure that I couldn't have kids. I suspected as much, but hadn't reconciled to it emotionally. As my husband and I worked through the grief we came to the place of seeing ourselves as a family even though we didn't have kids. I imagine that my grandmother planted this truth deep in my heart before I knew this would my path.


Jayne said...

What a lovely keepsake to remember her by... and how much love must have been given to them and to you.

everyday graces said...

what a beautiful, heartfelt story.

Becca said...

I have some of the same little animals! I collected them as a child -- I still have them. Reading this makes we want to get them out and dust them! We are lucky to have known our grandmothers.

Small Glimpses said...

Thanks all for your comments. I'm really glad for the Unravelling class. Otherwise, I don't think I would have taken the time to remember my Grandmother. I'm really, really behind and will probably finish the class at my own pace. I had a health scare about a month ago that was scary. Everything is good, but it definitely took my focus in other places.