Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On Memories in Boxes:

Today I was cleaning out the closet. I have no attic or basement so the closets are large and full of storage. Over, under, and around my many pieces of clothing are boxes and bags of stuff in storage. Plastic bins and cardboard boxes with the treasures of a lifetime. I only take on this task when I’m feeling mentally strong enough. There is what is left of my son’s life in there. (For those of you who don’t know ‘Shining Son’ died in a car accident some years back when he was twenty five years old.)

The ‘Princess Daughter’ has stuff in those boxes too. Memories of their childhood. A small rock from Shining Son’s first walk outside as a toddler. Princess Daughter’s first black patent leather party shoes. Pictures they drew for me when they were small. It’s not a lot of stuff as stuff like that goes, just precious to me. I saved the stuff to give back to them when they had their own children if that day came. Time will tell if Princess Daughter will settle down. But Shining Son will never have that chance.

In those boxes are poems and notes written to me from Mountain Man when our relationship was younger. Being married almost eighteen years now the poems are not as forthcoming. This is a second marriage for both of us. We have reached a comfortable groove in most things. I’ll keep the notes and poetry.

Boxes of papers. Journals and things once thought important. Instructions cut from a magazine for making some silly craft project. Articles on health or home improvement. All head for the recycling bin now that I have the internet at my fingertips. I need the space more. The journals I put back. They are full of mundane days of living before Shining Son died. Like in ‘Our Town’ the regular days are easier to look back at some how. Memories are the only place I get to visit my son now. Memories and dreams.

Pictures. Boxes of pictures. From a time when they were not as easily gotten in this cell phone ready age. Back then you had to bring along a camera and take a limited amount of pictures. Once the film was used up it was then taken to be developed. Then you waited for a few days to have that done. And once they were finished and back in your hands you strived to put them in book but usually just stuck them in an old shoe box within weeks of looking at them. There marches the high and low lights of my life. Birthdays, fender benders, holidays, injuries and stitches, vacation, storm damage. All reduced to slips of paper in boxes.

Memories of my life. I have fewer of them left in my head as I get older. And chemo brain has ravaged more then I’d like to think about of my memory. Still old memories get pushed out of the way for computer program instructions, shopping lists and doctor appointments. Making these boxes all the more important to me.

The some total of my collective life gone over in one closet cleaning day as I go through the boxes of memories.

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