This time last year, when PJ's grandmother died, I drove from the funeral to the wake in the car with PJ's parents. Next to me on the back passenger seat were some of his grandmother's possessions, including her sewing kit. It revealed much about the kind of woman she was: efficient, competent, frugal.
Not long after, PJ's sister wrote a beautiful blog post about inheriting this sewing kit. Of course the kit should have gone to her, but I must admit to feeling pangs of jealousy, even though she wasn't my grandmother.
There is something about a grandmother's possessions, for me anyway, that acts as a kind of direct line of communication to my female collective unconscious. It doesn't have to be my grandmother's things, I'm not that fussy.
Which is why I was so touched to receive the red case two days ago, a gift from our friends Ian and Vivienne. Inside it, Ian's mother's knitting needles and old patterns and Vivienne's balls of gorgeously soft alpaca wool.
Such a gift doesn't feel like it's merely been given, it feels as though it has been bequeathed – for me to use, enjoy, learn from, then pass on to the next person in line.