Home > Five Years Later, a Chance for a Poignant Do-Over

Five Years Later, a Chance for a Poignant Do-Over

February 24th, 2021 at 12:31 am

Following my mother's death 5 years ago, I was faced with the challenge of gifting and/or selling a good portion of the vast art collection I'd inherited.  I donated a ton of art to a local not-for-profit group that ran a public health clinic for people with no health insurance. I thought it was a good choice, since many people would be passing through their doors, and my mother was a compassionate person.

Last year, I began to feel anxious about all the art I'd gifted this organization after seeing accounts in the local paper saying that the group had changed its focus, moved its offices outside of town and would no longer be running a health clinic. I wondered what would happen to the art and even considered contacting them, but decided against it because the gift was made, no strings attached (although I had made it clear my chief aim in gifting them the art was to ensure that others could continue to enjoy and appreciate the work).

Imagine my surprise today to find a letter in my mailbox from this group, saying they could no longer display my mother's work and asking my what my wishes might be for it. I will call them first thing tomorrow and schedule a time to retrieve it all.

God knows I have nowhere to put it, except a small spare bedroom that is already pretty full of art. But although I still need to dispose of art, even before the prospect of retrieving this particular trove came along, I am feeling a sense of elation and relief. For, truth be told, I had regretted gifting them as much as I had, and wishing I had held onto certain beautiful tapestries and woven paintings. At the time, I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of art I had. It was clear I just couldn't hold onto it all, yet it is a slow and difficult process to sell it.  Currently, I only have some of her other work in a single gallery, and even that one, I'm sure, has been closed or barely operating for much of 2020.  To do a better job of marketing it, I would need to devote a great deal more of my time to researching, and then approaching, appropriate galleries that specialize in this particular kind of art. And after a time, I just needed a break from doing that, so I moved onto other things.

Who would have thought, 5 years later, that I would get a chance for a "do-over," a chance to reclaim some cherished possessions I didn't think I'd ever see again? Hopefully, this time I will be able to have a more level-headed approach in figuring out what to do with each piece. If I could just set myself a goal of finding ONE new gallery to exhibit at in 2021, I would feel I'd made some progress.

In other news, I attended yet another webinar last night, this one sponsored by our library and featuring a woman who had just published a book about 19th century female serial killers in New England. How's that for a niche? At the end of her talk, she said she wanted to gift one copy of the book to one of us, and I won the book! She even signed it for me. I hope to receive it in a few days and I expect that after I read it, I will gift it to someone in my Buy Nothing group.

I'm bringing my dad for his 2nd vaccine this Thursday; our governor has decided to depart from CDC guidelines and starting Monday, they will be offering the vaccine to those in my age group, and will go strictly by age groups (oldest, then younger) moving forward. (This, after most first responders and those age 75+ have received their vaccines.) YAY.

Our state continues to have a very low COVID rate below 3%, so I went ahead and scheduled 3 doctors' appointments that are long overdue. Surprisingly, though, when I asked each scheduler if the doc and all their staff had been vaccinated, one said "most" had, but the other 2 said no, not necessarily. I'd assumed that people working in the health care field would be better informed about vaccine safety, but I guess my assumptions were incorrect.

8 Responses to “Five Years Later, a Chance for a Poignant Do-Over”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    Your mom's art is so beautiful, PS. But it must've been overwhelming to try to re-home so much of it at the time. I still struggle with a few of my mom's things. Glad you have have a re-do.

  2. mumof2 Says:

    Have you thought about any aged care homes they would love and appreciate the art...if you have a couple of them in your area maybe you can swap them once a year from one place to lots of people can enjoy it...with a contigency that if anything happens then the art comes back to you!! I am glad that they contacted you to ask what you wanted

    We have just started to immunise over here this week and it is going to politicians, the elderly and people that have really compromised systems (cancer etc) first then the rest of us...but we don't have any community cases in our state and haven't for a long while...had a small one in november but only 17 people who were made to stay home and it disappeared (the virus) all people flying in have to stay in a hotel for 14 days they don't have a the community is pretty safe so not really fussed but we should have it by july

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    That's a great idea, mumof2.

    A few years ago, the owner of several assisted living facilities in a nearby city purchased quite a few tapestries of my mother's that were at a local gallery. He was fairly specific about what he wanted....unframed woven tapestries....and bought not only a few at the gallery but additional ones I brought in from home after the gallery owner called me. My mother would have been thrilled to have sold so many at one time.

  4. Wink Says:

    I still have a few boxes of my mom's angel figurine collection that she left to me. Because they are small and don't take up much space it is easy for me to just hold on to it. It must have been really difficult to manage such a large collection during such a difficult time. I am so happy for your do-over!

  5. VS_ozgirl Says:

    That’s such a beautiful story! It’s wonderful that you can now decide what happens to her cherished possessions when you have more time on your hands to put more energy into it.

  6. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    That's amazing fortune. I remember your mom's art was so beautiful. Or maybe a museum or college you could donate too? Or a hospital? Library? Something that isn't going to shut down and you could see it if you wish. Have you offered any to your children? Would they be interested in it?

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    I'm glad you could get it back. I remember how overwhelmed you were with it all. Has it really been that long since she passed? It goes quickly, doesn't it?

  8. rob62521 Says:

    That is terrific you have a redo. Sometimes hindsight helps us realize what we have and perhaps there is a better purpose awaiting you as you decide what to do.

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