Friday, January 22, 2010

A Written Word is a Memory Forever

In an effort to clean out my indoor garage dining room, I have been going through boxes of stuff that I have ever moved from my condo in Knoxville, to my first house, to my apartment, and now to my dining room. Or I've been going through the multiple file boxes I have because the inner accountant in me had saved everything since college (and before.) As I reached the last box I found a file folder of special cards and letters that I have received throughout the past 13 years. It's mostly signed birthday cards from my parents or grandparents or random family members, but there are some special ones too that made me literally take a step back as I read them and laugh and cry and reminisce. Some of these people are no longer in my life, but while they were the impact they made.


The first thing to get to me was an email from Steve. Steve has not been a part of my life since Spring Break of 2000 when I went with him to buy an engagement ring for his girlfriend. She was my ex-roommate who moved out on my 21st birthday, just a couple of months prior. Between her decision to move out and the fact that Steve was the roommate of my ex-boyfriend we had drifted apart. However, Steve took a deep risk and sent me one of the most heartfelt letters I have ever received. As I read it, I cried. I remember us talking. I remember the times we shared. I remember when he called me after a basketball game to ask if he could come by the next day. He needed to talk. The girlfriend we would buy the ring for a few weeks later? She was pregnant. I let him talk. I listened. I asked him if he loved her. I will always remember his answer: "I don't know how I felt before I heard the news." I know through social media that they are still married and have two boys now. It was definitely in our life paths to only be friends for a season.


My dad was the ultimate card giver in our family. He always took the time to go and buy us cards. For our birthdays. For Valentine's Day. And he loved to hide them so we would find them during our day. His grandmother taught him that the prettiest card had the most money in it. I called him this year and told him I thought his card was ugly. He laughed.

I found a Valentine's Card that I knew was from him based on the handwriting on the envelope. When I opened the card the first thing I noticed was the picture of the cat on the card. I thought to myself, "I can't believe my dad bought me a card with a cat on it. He and I both dislike cats." I opened it up and sure enough he had put a P.S. in the card. "Sorry about the cat. I couldn't find one with a rat on it. I'd rather have rats than cats." I love that man.


It turns out my sister and mom are more alike than they like to admit. They both bought the same card for my niece to give me. I am pretty sure it was different years as today is the first time I remember making the connect.


I found a Christmas card from Shay the year before he and Shanleigh made it to the alter. He took a Kwanza card and marked out certain words to turn it into a Christmas card. This made me smile because I know he took the time to do it mostly because I was friends with the woman he intended to make his wife. And to him, that made me important enough to take the time to do that.


I found thank you notes and just because notes from friends, kids, and relatives. I sit here with tears streaming down my cheeks. Not because any of this makes me sad. It's quite the opposite. I feel so humbled that even to sign their name to a card took them time. And I was worth even that little bit of time to them.

1 comment:

Kerri said...

I love this... I love giving cards and I love getting cards. I have a drawer where I put cards like this and they are all special.