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Forgotten Treasures

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Posted 01-28-2013 at 10:52 PM by caninemom3
Updated 01-29-2013 at 06:57 AM by caninemom3

A few days ago I was feeling nostalgic for the "old days" so I decided to go into the small room where all the Christmas things are stored and where there is also an an old fashioned vanity, probably from the 1930's which was my former mother-in-law's. In its drawers are stored a good part of memories from my youth both good and bad. As there is a Christmas tree in that room, beautiful and flocked and always there to plug in when I get really lonesome for Christmas, I turned it on and sat down in front of the vanity and started the journey through my collected memories.

At first I came across diaries I had written when in my early teens and I must say it gave the term "drama queen" whole new meaning but then I was just 15 or younger. There were letters my youngest older brother had written me at a time when he was down on his luck and I was the only contact he had with family. There were plenty of magazines from the 1990s and 1980s and earlier, plenty of previous birthday cards from well-wishers and family and even some collections of things I no longer collect, frogs, Bambi figurines (that is what I call deer) hair bandeaus from when my hair was REALLY long, a regular hodgepodge of items.

As I looked at all the things there very specific memories came flooding back. Memories I had actually forgotten. The very happy days when I first moved into this house in 1990 among them. I had wanted to move so very badly from the neighborhood where David and I lived. It was the kind of neighborhood where the houses practically touch and there is no yard space for any of them. I felt extremely cooped up there and particularly isolated as David and I never "fit in" with the neighbors who lived there then and none of them were courteous enough to speak. I was desparate to get away from there. We spent 11 years there and I hated most of it.

One day in the fall of 1989 we were house shopping as we had been for some time and we came across a very charming ranch which needed a paint job very badly. We were shown inside by the realator and walked through. I fell in love with the house. It was on 3/4 of an acre and had a REAL fireplace. It was October, I remember, and that made it just so much more magical. Colored leaves were strewn about the front yard and it was quite nippy and cold outside. David and I talked and talked about it and we eventually wound up going back for a second walk through and we decided we wanted it, me more so than he, but David would have done anything for me because he truly loved me. We did not know how in the world we would afford it as we were already buying the house where we were living and definitely could not afford two mortgage payments and we had no down payment. Above and beyond the call of duty as she always was my then mother-in-law gladly accepted the responsibility of paying the mortgage where we lived at the present time allowing us to purchase the home I very much needed and wanted to call my own. She knew it would not be long until our present home sold and went along with our plan like a trooper.

Among the artifacts collected I found many anniversary cards from David professing his love for me over and over again. I found myself getting very weepy and teary-eyed while I carefully took each out of its envelope and read it and then carefully put it back for preservation. There were cards from my parents on my birthday, cards from my sister and brothers.

Then I decided to open the middle drawer of the vanity. There, carefully kept in a small green box were some belongings I was not expecting to see that evening. I could not imagine what was in it. It was a sort of jewelry box and I did not recall what jewelry could have been in it. I was feeling apprehensive and exhilarated at the same time. As I opened the box my eyes saw them. My engagement ring from when I became engaged to David and also David's wedding ring which had to be cut off his hand after his passing. I had wanted his ring for reasons unknown to me now and I think perhaps I felt it would guarantee some connection to him if I had it. I had been a very nervous 17-year-old bride not knowing if I was doing the right thing and only knowing that I loved this wonderful young man I was marrying. As it turned out, it was one of the wisest things I ever did in my entire life. We were together for 21 wonderful years and in those days life was very nearly perfect. Seeing those rings brought very wonderful visions to my mind. How David and I met, how I did not like him at all when we met !, how we fell in love and married when I was just 17 and he 20. All the years we were together seemed to come flooding back.

The Christmases we spent together nothing more than little children playing house in the beginning. His spontaneity for doing things unplanned like going to look at Christmas lights at 10 at night no matter the weather. One year there had been a very, very bad storm with blizzard like conditions and we didn' care, we set out to go to a sort of local festival of lights not knowing if they were even open. As it turned out, they were. It was literally a Winter Wonderland and we were the only car going through. There was lots of snow already on the ground and there was still a gentle but persistent snow still falling blanketing everything in sparkling diamonds and the softness and glow that only Christmastime snow can bring.

Of course, there were unhappy memories too. The day I found David in the back bedroom gone by his own hand because he could not take life any longer. My world and my life stopped that day and I have been lost without him ever since. For the most part though, the memories were very happy and a very nice respite from my life at present. I actually felt all my family who had passed were right there in the room with me looking at all the memories I had collected and smiling on me. When I had finished looking through everything there for some reason I felt I had gotten something back I thought I had lost for good. I got a glimpse of ME who I really am and not who I have become in the time since David has been gone. As I re-absorbed all those memories into my being again, I felt empowered and at peace.

Knowing most my family is just a step or two down the hall is a great comfort. I don't know what made me want to go through all the things in that room, but I am glad I did. Despite so much loss I feel I gained something tremendous from looking at all those things from the past, in essence I regained a sense of myself which I had lost somehow and now, whenever I feel blue or sad, I will go to that room, plug in the beautiful tree and sit there with my family all around me as I think about times past and all the good things the future just may have in store after all........
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