I wrote this draft almost 3 years ago and for some reason, did not publish it at the time. I guess I needed to sit on it for a while.
As I move into my new home and make it my own, I’m unwrapping a lot of memories I have kept put away for a long time.
Over the past few years I’ve gone through some stuff – haven’t we all? – and, as one would expect, had things that reminded me of that stuff. It felt so good to release the things, to not allow them to continue to hold me back/down, and to realize they were just that. Stuff. Not the memories I needed to keep, but the memories I needed to let go of. So I kept the memories (stuff) I needed and said farewell to the ones that were holding me back.
It’s like losing 10 pounds. The weight lifted off my shoulders, out of my mind.
But there’s one item (ok, more than one, but those are for another day) that will always be precious to me. Several years ago, when my brother and sister-in-law got married, my maternal grandparents came down to San Antonio for the wedding festivities. The day before the wedding, my grandfather and I were visiting in their hotel room. Gramps shared with me that his sister, my Aunt Frances, was going through her belongings in preparation for simplifying and downsizing. She gave an item back to Gramps that he’d given to her years ago when they were children, so he could pass it on to the next person in line, to someone who’d cherish it as she had.
Gramps gave this item to me. It is a simple thing. A small round hand carved wooden box he made somewhere around 85 years ago.
Aunt Frances used this small box to keep her talcum powder in. Even today I can lift the lid of the box and smell her familiar scent. Traces of the powder she used are left on the inside, and the scent of it is still very strong, even after all these years.
Both Gramps and Aunt Frances have been gone in the physical sense for many years, but when I am thinking of either of them, I simply lift the lid off the box Gramps made and the memories of them both are instantly there to celebrate and to enjoy.