Thursday, June 5, 2014
I uncovered more memories Saturday.
Pam and I joined other family members as we continued to go through lots and lots and lots of things in my mother’s house in Marion County, Ala. Some items we are keeping, some we will sell, some we are just throwing away.
After three days (two during a previous weekend), the end of the task can be seen, but we’re not finished by any means.
For whatever reason, this last weekend was a bit tougher than the first for me personally – maybe because the house itself is getting close to being cleared out.
Or maybe it’s because in the bottom of a drawer I found one of my favorite summer sleeveless shirts that I wore and wore and wore as a small child. Amazingly, it was still in decent condition.
Deep in the bottom of that drawer with my childhood shirt was a small sock with green stripes around the top. Immediately, Pam and I knew the story behind the sock. It was one of Andy’s, from when he visited Nanny’s house as a small child. Instead of a pacifier, Andy chewed on the end of his socks. It started while he was hospitalized at a young age – sort of serving as a comfort to him.
I also found, in a different location, one of my childhood blankets. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was mine. It’s home with me in Holly Springs now, just like the small shirt. I’m not exactly sure what I will do with the sentimental items, maybe place them in a frame. Most importantly, I found them and knowing my mom had saved them for more than 40 years brought warmness to my heart and a smile to my face during some tough times.
I made one huge mistake Saturday, too. Pam and I came across a puzzle of all the states in the United States. It was still together and placed between two pieces of cardboard.
I knew our youngest child, Erin, had put the small pieces of the puzzle together with her grandmother. I knew of its importance.
But at the same time, I felt there was no way we’d make it back to Holly Springs with the puzzle intact – without losing any pieces.
So, I told Pam just to take it apart, put it in its box, and we’d take it to Erin.
Then Sunday, after Pam picked our 12-year-old up at cheer camp in Starkville (at Mississippi State), the puzzle came up in conversation during their ride home.
Erin cried because she and Nanny had shared that special time – of putting the puzzle together – and she did not want it taken apart.
I don’t know if I’d ever felt so badly as a parent.
I gave her a big hug that night, told her I was “sorry,” and that we’d put the puzzle together again and remember all those good times with Nanny.
“OK,” she replied in a soft voice.
Every piece of clothing, every piece of furniture, almost everything we find at my mother’s house (even pieces of paper she had written notes on) stir the greatest of memories.
Like I told someone at church Sunday night, I’m bringing home to Holly Springs lots of things I don’t really need, but at the same time, they hold special places in my heart.
For instance, Pam and I wanted the small white chifferobe and the antique bookcase (with magazine slots on the side). We wanted those items and others for our house – then to pass on to our children some day for their houses.
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