I was rummaging through our rag bucket of old shirts, towels, and sheets a while ago. Out came a faded dish towel with a hard working needlework bear and the phrase, "Bear in mind...it's Wednesday." I looked at it for a minute.
I had seen this towel many times before. There used to be an entire set of them, one for each day of the week. The needlework was done by my father’s mother’s brother’s wife (get that? My great-aunt) many years ago. Given the fact that she was in her prime in the 1920’s, the piece of cloth in my hand was lovingly decorated at least 70 years ago.
Now it’s a rag. Should we regard it as a family heirloom? Should we find a way to display it and preserve it?
Still, I am certain that touching the rag prompts me to stop and remember my Great-Aunt Helen much more frequently than I would if the towel had been lovingly folded and stored in a chest of drawers. Both the rag and our memories of a long-departed relative still have tasks to perform in our home.