Just like the Disney ride says, its a small world. There is that moment that your parent hands you the box of all your memories. My gut reaction when it was my time was that Dad was acting a bit callous. I even asked him if he was sure he didn’t want to keep anything. In a very “man” way, Dad explained that we were old enough to decide what to do with what was left from the past. In my present day reality, I totally get what he was thinking. I have literally lugged all these momento’s long enough. I have started a tub for each of my girls and once they are full, they will be heading to their owners. I will gladly step down from my “keeper of the keys” person for my family. Good call, Dad.
The reason I waited until my girls were older was due to some of the decisions I made with my mothers things. There was that ¾ length Blackgama mink coat that me Dad wanted me to have. When would I need this, I said. I live in Hawaii. Not really my thing. My 59 year old self would love to smack my 27 year old self upside the back of her head. Not only because my Mother loved this piece. How about like Dorothy…I’m not in Hawaii anymore! There have been plenty of cold, Kansas nights that I would have treasured staying warm – inside and out – in that coat my mother loved.
As the years go by, I become more resolute in my long held belief that memories trump any physical items we acquire in our travels. In saying that, I believe there are those touchstones, as small as they can be, that can evoke a time, place, smell that takes us, instantaneously, to the past. It warms my heart cooking certain recipes that take me back to my Moms kitchen – knowing that for my girls, these aromas will always trigger a memory of me.
One such touchstone from my mother is a memory of how hard she worked to hand sew more than a hundred tote bags that were sold in a local shop in the summer of 1976. This summer was huge in Newport, because we were not only celebrating our country’s Bicentennial but also the arrival of the Tall Ships to our port. I try to forgive myself that I never kept one of these bags. I was only 17. It is why I say, once again, someone older should be making our memory box decisions.
Technology is not one of my strong suits, but Face Book is pretty simple, even for me. Several years ago I was invited into a closed group for people who grew up in Newport, RI. Last week I posted that I wish I had kept one of these totes, and that if anyone still happened to have one, I would love to buy it from them. Two days, and many small conversations later, the mother of one of my Jr. High boyfriends contacted me with a photo of the tote that she thought might have been my mothers. Well, it has been 42 years, but I recognized that bag immediately. After several small walks down memory lane on Messenger, Christa let me know that she had put the tote in the mail and I should have it by tomorrow. She felt the same way I did about having something a parent made and charged me nothing for the tote or the mailing.
I contacted her son to get her address so I can send her some flowers. …It’s a small, small world.