When my ILs moved out of their house, Hubbie and I spent months helping them sort through rooms full of things they had collected over the years.
While sorting old paperwork, his mother and I came across engineering plans from his grandfather's company. Handwritten plans that he had drawn himself.
Hubbie's mom chucked them in the trash.
Now, I know that when you go into purge mode, it is easier to get rid of things. It is impossible to keep everything. For me, however, this represented family history. I envision them framed in a study or home office. I took the tube out of the trash and asked to keep them. I don't know that my MIL was all that thrilled, but this was just as much my husband's legacy as hers. I put them to the side and brought them home.
That was nearly eight years ago. These plans have traveled in their original 1954 mailing tube across two continents, three states and three cities. Every time the tube surfaces, a sharp pang of guilt hits me. We've not really had the wall space to show them off, but I hate that I have not accomplished my goal.
Yesterday, I bit the bullet. I went out and bought a frame. I matted it myself. There are still touch-ups that need to be done, but it is framed. I am giving it to Hubbie for Christmas.
There are enough of these plans for me to give one to each of the children when they get older.
My husband is thrilled. He loves how it looks and can't wait to hang it. I feel quite emotional about it. I got kind of teary-eyed when I flipped the frame over to see the results. Living here in the States, my kids do not have the opportunity to explore their Swedish roots in the way I would like. I want both families represented in our house, and I feel this is a good start.
Countering this, I recognize there is a teeny part of me that wants the approval of his family. I want to send them a picture to show how I am honoring my MIL's family. I want them to be proud. I want them to like it. I want them to acknowledge me. To recognize my efforts.
Past experience has taught me what a futile exercise that would be. That makes me sad. Sad how unresponsive they are. Sad how I never seem to learn my lesson.