When we cleaned out our parents’ condo years ago, my sisters and I when through a lot of stuff. Furniture that reflected their taste but not ours. Collections that reflected their experiences but not ours. Stuff that we already had. I never acquired my Dad’s taste for Scandanavian modern furniture. We didn’t need more rocks and little things.
However. There were also some things that my dad had given me earlier, and some more that was left in the condo garage in a couple cabinets.
A small pile of walnut and pine boards. A couple pieces of paneling. A bunch of bins of bits and blades and bolts and screws. Some hand tools than had been in his collection, some that survived from my grandfather.
And my dad left me a willingness to try making stuff. I had been around when my dad did some DIY projects at home and at our small cabin.
When it was time to build a box for my mom’s ashes, I turned to the pile of walnut in our garage. I pulled down the pieces of paneling from storage. I found brass screws. I found drill bits and a screwdriver. I found the willingness to try and the acceptance to not be perfect.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!”
The stuff we were left hasn’t always been helpful. The parts and tools and training, however, has been a useful legacy. I think I want to work on leaving the pieces that will help people build what’s needed for the future rather than passing on objects that only gain value as antiques. Or Goodwill tax deductions.