Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My memories. My emotions

I think, probably, most of us have things we hold on to just for the emotions and memories they bring us.
I can tell you, I certainly do.

One particular item is a jewelry box my mom bought me for Christmas when I was around 7 years old.
Blue, rain stained (while in high school, it was sitting on a shelf in my room while our roof was being replaced and was drenched with  unexpected rain), satin and crushed velvet lined, a gold snap-clasp and the letter "D" monogrammed on the lid.
Inside, there are random items. Each with a memory or emotion that belongs to me. Me.
Each with an explanation only I can give. Each with an explanation only I care about.
With many things I share with my husband or kids or friends, I want them to understand the memory or emotion.
With this jewelry box, for some reason, I don't need that. When opened, it brings to me, an almost calming affect.
My memories. My emotions.

Inside, a small, yellowed, rough edged newspaper clipping about a tragedy that happened  in our family when I was 7. I still remember my step-mom keeping me in from retrieving the newspaper, then telling me about what happened. I remember crying as she hugged me and I picked at the little lint balls on her sweater.
There are a couple of fortunes removed from cookies long ago, 3 cute little pins (a chicken, a parrot and Jiminy Cricket) my step-mom bought me at the dime store, a pin my Grandma Butterfield bought me for Christmas one year. One gold hoop earring my mom gave me (her second husband gave them to her. I lost one). A watch my dad bought me for Christmas when i was in 3rd grade. It doesn't work, but how can I get rid of it? The bottom half of a mini jewelry box. I don't know where it came from, but I've had it forever.

Laying on the bottom of the box is 4 Mardi Gras coins from 1974 and a zodiac charm from a boyfriend in high school. I don't keep these because he was so "special" (believe me, he wasn't ).... they've just been in there so long, it seems strange to remove them. There are 2 rings from my CampFire Girls days. A blue bird pin from my Blue Bird days (pre-CampFire Girls) and a tiny lapel pin from The American Legion. A strand of purple wooden beads from CampFire Girls and 2 half dollars from my mom, each wrapped in tissue, with the name of my kids on them. I don't know the significance of these coins. I'm sure she told me at one time, but I have forgotten.

There is a silver plated name bracelet my dad and step-mom got me for some occasion. A pair of antique, yellow earrings and a resin necklace that belonged to my Grandma Clemence. A little necklace that belongs to my daughter, 2 sets of plastic airline wings (one pair from the first time my daughter, Shanel flew) and a black zipper-pull that belongs to Shanel. And a Turtle pendant from high school. My art teacher called me "Turtle" ... maybe someone bought me that because of the nickname.

A few things have been removed over the years. A "black diamond" from my Uncle Tony. I think my mom said he brought it back from Alaska. I don't know.... it's just what I remember. A second newspaper clipping about the family tragedy. I don't know where that one went. Doesn't matter. A gold cross with the diamond in it from my mom's wedding ring from her marriage to my dad... I've given this to Shanel for Jada.

This box, open and inviting, sitting next to me on the couch, once again has that calming effect. I don't even try to understand how. I just enjoy it. 
I pick up each item, move it around and nestle it back into the spot where it belongs.
I know, besides the items that belong to the kids, nothing in this box would mean anything to anyone else.
I know the memories and emotions I have with this box are mine.
I don't need anyone to share these feelings. I'm content owning them.

My memories. My emotions.