My Aunt Ada was an artist. Well, sort of. Perhaps she was more of a wanna be artist. I am. I get that. I have a small framed pen and ink she did. It’s uh, well, identifiable. I think that’s important unless you’re modernistic in your expressions. I once water-colored a flower that appeared to be a flower. It was a thrilling moment for me and my art instructor who rushed home and framed it. Of course my art instructor was my best friend and her reaction was ochre-d with love.

Whoever framed my aunts picture of a winding road had a deep shade of prejudice. And I’m grateful. It’s one of the few brushstrokes of her life that I have.

Ada was also a keeper of fine jewelry. Well, not fine as in Tiffany. No, hers was more down-home than that. Actually the piece I have is a teeny-tiny telescope. It’s not ivory it’s more plastic-like and when you peer through it you see the Lord’s Prayer. I keep it in a safe because I know value when I see it.

I also have Aunt Ada’s ink pen. Probably the very one she inked in her art with, it’s a marbleized green. And I imagine she wrote letters and scribbled notes to her boyfriend with this pen. As a writer I appreciate artistic implements.

Did I mention I never met my Aunt? She died before I was born. My mamaw said Ada died of a broken heart when her sweetheart left her for another…but my mom said my Aunt died from tb…all I know is even though I never met her she lives on for me through her picture, her prayer, and her pen. Traces of her life.

What traces are you leaving behind?


  1. Patti on March 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Patsy, thank you so much! I just lost my mom in October, and we are in the process of going through her home to get it ready for sale.

    There is so much stuff to go through, but now I’m going to be seeing it with different eyes. What we may have considered junk before may now become a treasured heirloom.

    Thank you for reminding me that I need to keep my mom “alive” for future generations.

  2. Terry Moran on March 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    It is in those things that are left behind that we get our comfort from, when our loved ones have passed on. I have a pin, a ring, and apron, alot of photos, a scarf – all things that my mom wore and saved. My dad left his hats, his hammer (he was a wonderful carpenter), pictures of his many flowers that he planted in our garden when I was growing up. All things that I hold onto. But the best thing I found was a wooden plaque with a beautiful rose etched on it with the words “The gift of God is eternal life.” That said alot about who they were, where they came from and where they were headed! I will see them again some day!

  3. Shelia on March 30, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Blessings to all the Aunt Adas who, with their plastic baubles and uninhibited exuberances of expression, have created space in a little girl’s heart for the beautiful. Where would we be without them? Thank you for stoking the fires of creativity in me and for feeding my ache for lovely.

  4. Danya on March 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    It’s like Nichole Nordeman’s song Legacy! Love that song!

  5. Pinky on March 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement to look at what traces others have left for me and what traces I am leaving.

  6. Cherie Clayton on March 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Growing up, I was never taught to treasure things. My mother had OCD and a mental disorder, and would often find no worth in anything that was of any value. Since having children…four beautiful gifts…I have learned to treasure things that are more valuable than gold.

    The traces I leave behind may not be ones that are of financial value, but they are my heart. When I looked into the eyes of my twins when they were babies…I thought to myself “I will leave a legacy for them”.

    As I sit here today, my children growing older by the day…as they are now all teenagers…I have traced in thier life, fine lines of God’s love, and remnants of His Word. I have traced within them memories of laughter, encouragement, and life.

    Was I perfect momma?…by no means whatsoever! However, I traced within them deep streams…that in spite of my imperfections I have the power and strength to recognize my weakness, ask for their forgiveness and forgive myself.

    Thank you for sharing this!

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