I found a box in my garage the other night:
An old tattered, dusty , orange Nike shoe box.
I was in that mood, the mood I get in to frequently about the meaning of life, why I am here, what is my purpose. When I sat down on the steps to go through the box I was flabbergasted at the contents- they are as follows in the order I pulled them out of the box:
My dead fathers wallet: That’s right his wallet one of the few things I took when we cleaned out his remaining material shit after he died. Amongst the rooms of shit we had to go thru – I chose this. It , I figured was the closest thing to him, always in his pocket, something he dare not leave anywhere. His drivers license ( his freedom). His social security card (proof that he walked this earth) a list of things he needed and or wanted (a coffee pot, a winter jacket with a hood, insulation for the roof, new sheets).
*I wished I would have paid more attention , I have the hardest time knowing that the last days of his life he was cold, he needed a winter jacket, insulation for his roof. I don’t know why of everything this is what haunts me still today.
Two letters from My Mother to my Aunt:
She was young, she was pregnant with my brother, I was two. Her and My father had just built a new house and he painted it all the colors she had chosen. She was doing great and was happy.
*It was proof that my Mother was once young and full of dreams, but most of all for one little moment in time, she was happy with my Father.
A picture of my ex husband with hair
*Seriously – do I need to say any more? I thought not.
A lock of my hair after my first haircut
*It’s all about the hair, I know- and it’s proof that I was once ” legally and naturally a blonde”.
Pictures of my kids when they were babies and toddlers
*A life that seems so far away now, but in an instant was brought back in flashes of joy just from an image of once was. The kids playing together, laughing together, just me and my baby’s- the kids with their Dad. Innocence and happiness, before any of us really were tainted or bruised from the hard knocks of family life.
A letter from my first husband after he had screwed up….again
*It’s funny what stuck out in this letter that hadn’t to me before, not that he said he was sorry, not that he said he would change,but these five words. ” I didn’t do anything wrong”. Five words that described our marriage from start to finish,him believing with his entire being that he didn’t do anything wrong and me trying to explain how wrong everything was.
A picture of the love of my life
* The one man I didn’t marry, probably the only one I should have.
A card from my second husband telling me how amazing I was
*For the last 3 years this man’s main mission in life has been to remind me and drill in to me what a horrible person I am , to break my spirit and leave me withered on the floor, clawing to get back up to a standing position. I chose to remember instead how he felt about me before, what he wrote in that card to me all those years ago, that I was Beautiful, amazing, like no other before and never attainable again. I choose to walk with those words in my head from this point forward.
As I sat on the step – snapped pictures of the pictures to send to my kids: crying, laughing, remembering, forgiving- smiling. I realized my entire life resided in that one box, everything I was made up of, my roots, my lessons, my pure abandonment, my joy, the bane of my life, delicious beginnings, afflicted endings.
*And I wondered what my kids will remove from that box and keep forever long after I am gone