Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sentimental Me

Maybe it's foolish.  I've been called worse things.  

It's easy to become sentimental as you get older, but I was born that way.  From as far back as I can remember, I saved little things.  I had a terrible time parting with anything someone I loved gave me, whether it was a plastic ring from a gumball machine or a stuffed animal or a birthday card.  

When my Mom, or grandma, or grandpa would kiss my cheek, I would be careful not to rub it and could feel it, lingering there, for a long time afterwards.  

The one and only year I went to camp, the girls in my cabin were mean and clique-y.  Though I felt a bit lonely, the fact that they weren't nice to me didn't bother me as much as the fact that they wrecked the bed that my mom so nicely made for me before she left.  All those thoughtful, tight tucks, undone in a fit of eleven year old menace.  

If you look in my purse, I know you will find at least one old shopping list written by my Mom and a note about my worn out tires from my Dad.  In the kitchen drawer, notes from my Dear Husband about slippery roads, hot coffee and cats.  On the top shelf of the closet, nearly every drawing, project and card ever made by my children and birthday cards from relatives dating back to the 70's.

My father's mother passed away last April, but her voice is still on my answering machine.  I'd still have my other grandmother's voice as well, but her last message to me got erased.  Believe me when I say it really bothers me that it's gone.  I also had my youngest son's voice on there, from the day he first rode his bike (alone!) to a friend's house.  He called as soon as he got there.  "Hi Mom.  Well, I just wanted to call and say that I made it and I'm fine.  Well, see you later.".  You see, I have it memorized, even though it too got erased when we had to get a new phone.  

Books and clothes and televisions and cars and other things, I have no problem giving away.  I don't get attached to big things; not really.  I'd rather someone else have them, if they can be useful to them.  Over the years, I've managed to pare down the sky high pile of letters and cards to a more manageable amount, as well.  Now, instead of every birthday card my great grandmother ever sent me, I only have one; but I won't part with it.  

I still have my favorite childhood stuffed animals and every silly letter my husband wrote to me when we were apart for four months the year we got engaged.

I worry that I haven't taken enough pictures, spent enough time, taught my children all the things they need to know from their mom.  I worry that they'll grow up and leave and I worry that they won't.

I want to take all these things; the papers, the pictures, the voices and the worries and lock them away in a time capsule.  I want to cement them into the cornerstone of my life; knowing that these things are only a small representation of what really matters.

Here and now, what I have shared, what I remember, who I have loved, who knows that I love them; those are the real things worth keeping.

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