A legacy reflected in a home’s decorative elements

This week we had a tragic loss in our family, Grama Frieda my sweet newly-related mother in law went home to heaven in her sleep and we are all left to mourn the loss of this lovely lady.

I am watching my husband and his siblings as they prepare for the funeral and this is the closest I have been to actually planning a funeral instead of just attending, there is a lot of work to do.

When it comes to our possessions, the value of them is all about perspective. What may have cluttered up Gramas house a week ago is now precious and wanted by children and grandchildren alike. The things we choose to have around us may have little earthly value but the emotional price tag is limitless when we perceive that these will be the last items attached to our beloved family member.

My mother-in-law was a smart and observant lady; when her children went into her home after her death they found a list of her worldly possessions and names of the grandchildren who were bequeathed each item.

It was obvious that over the years she had paid attention to what her grandchildren liked or who had created a special memory at the kitchen table or in her favorite chair.

It was a touching tribute that speaks of a caring and loving woman who knew that this place was not her home and stuff is just….well, stuff.

When I look around my home it makes me wonder what my ‘precious’ possessions will mean to my children and grandchildren when I leave this earth. My daughter will never know how passionate I am about certain items and I’m sure she will ask herself why I kept this painting or that sculpture for so long. How outdated my taste is and how silly her old mom was for not updating her home.

I think a good exercise would be to write a story for some of the more important items in my life so that not only my legacy can live on but my reasons for loving certain items.

Not in a materialistic way but in a way that can convey a story, a trip or a fond memory that may be associated with certain items.

I want my grandchildren to know how as a child I played with MY Grama’s elephant statues that she brought from her missionary work in Kenya and how she gave them to me when I got my first home. I would like them to understand why I have designed every single home around them whether or not they are in fashion simply because I love them and they remind me of her.

It is important that we fill our homes with not just fashionable but meaningful finds.

When we look at a painting in our living room may it remind us of our first visit to the ocean and I hope that jar of sand and shells by your bathtub takes you back to your lazy sunny days from your Mexican honeymoon.

I wish for you to be able to share those memories with those you love the most and I pray that they bring you joyful thoughts throughout your life. Design is meant to enhance our worldly home experience but I believe that it can reach beyond our time on this earth.

Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.