Memories Linger On…

photo (5)The “Spring Cleaning Bug” has bitten once again, and this time with a vengeance. I know that I must tackle the back bedroom closet; the one into which every unknown “thing” has been cast since our sons have grown up and started homes of their own.  Out  come tennis racquets,  soccer trophies, piles of  t-shirts, an odd assortment of ball caps, boxes of Legos,  and then a stack of boxes marked “STUFF.”   Clearly, these are for my boys to wade through, but my curiosity gets the best of me.  Box #1 is full of car magazines. B o r i n g.  Box #2 contains sets of baseball cards, Lego set directions – slightly more interesting.

Box #3 made my heart jump into my throat. My eyes filled with tears.   THIS box – holds sweet memories of my boys.  I sat in silence,  gazing at the precious contents.   Tenderly I lifted out Little Teddy, the bear who had been our oldest son’s dearest companion all through childhood.  He looked at me with  faded eyes, his fur almost worn off from all the loving Aaron had given him.   Under Teddy was our son Nathan’s pillow.  But not just a pillow; for  tucked inside his favorite sports pillowcase, Nate had always put a “silky.” It was just a scrap of soft cloth he had held while sucking his thumb.  I reached in and yes! a “silky” was still hidden inside.  For an instant I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.  Reaching deeper into the box,  I was sad knowing beloved  “Snuffy” wouldn’t be there.   Jesse had been the son with a bed full of stuffed animals, but Snuffalupagus had been most loved. So loved that he had completely worn out and fallen apart.  At last I reached Ducky.  Ducky – who had been given to our “little surprise”, born 12 years after Teddy, the “silky” pillow, and  Snuffy had been loved on.   Once bright yellow and fluffy, now there were just small patches of faded yellow fur.  Jordan had hugged Ducky’s neck completely out of shape, the ribbon hanging limp and frayed.   But, like The Velveteen Rabbit, these were memories which held love.

At this point I wasn’t sure I could emotionally search through the remainder of the box.  But glancing down it just looked as though the box had been filled with the boys’ old books.  This  should be fun!  Indeed it was – and then I came to an inner carefully wrapped package.   Oh goodness! Their  favorites! I would have known these four books anywhere.  I could practically quote them from memory I’d read them aloud so many times!

The Little Engine That Could

Aaron’s book, The Little Engine That Could, its cover almost falling off with yellowed tape, made me stop short. Why, this book described Aaron now, as a man.  That little blue engine,  so willing to help when others wouldn’t, continually saying, “I think I can” – this is Aaron.   He lives his life helping others, never gives up on a situation, always figures out a way to fix a broken item or come to someone’s aid.  And he, like the engine, never expects anything in return. If anyone in the family needs help, we call Aaron.  Our own “I think I can” engine.  I smiled and hugged that worn book.

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The Spooky Old Tree

I sighed as I picked up  The Spooky Old Tree.  Nathan’s book had filled such a need in his young life.  At two years old he had broken his leg and  had been in traction for six weeks.   I had filled his days with stories and simple games.   Just as the little Berenstain bears struggled through the spooky tree asking “Do they dare?” as they faced each obstacle to find their way through, Nate bravely struggled through each day.   Now as I held Nate’s book, I was struck with the overwhelming knowledge that once again, he was facing a spooky old tree.  Nathan and his wife are parents of two (precious) children with Aspergers.  Some days they wonder how “they will dare” keep going. But they are armed with much more than a stick, a rope, and a flashlight. They have faith, prayer, and family.

I’ll Teach My Dog 100 Words

Jesse has always been the liveliest of our sons, so seeing his book was no surprise.   I’ll Teach My Dog 100 Words lay before me.   I opened the cover and read, “From Grandpa and Grammy for Jesse’s 3rd birthday.”  My dad and Jess laughed themselves silly reading that book, especially the page which said, “Paint Uncle Abner’s underwear…”  I don’t know how many times he tried to count the red words to see if there really were 100, would lose count, get frustrated, then start over.  Jess became a master at speed reading that crazy book – it about drove us nuts!  I started laughing, thinking how even this book was like him today.  Jess is in sales and spends his days talking.  His ability to use words,  to treat people pleasantly and respectfully,  and put them at ease is something he just comes by naturally.  He’s  like his brothers – he never gives up.

The Jolly Pocket Postman

Then there was Jordan’s book,  The Jolly Pocket Postman.  My memories of reading this with him remain vivid.  Jordan was fascinated with the pages that held pockets of puzzles, maps, secret treasures…  He never tired of finding the thrill of the unusual in a book that was more than just a book.  Now as an artist/illustrator, Jordan is much the same way. He has never been satisfied with creating art or drawing in the same manner as everyone else.  His style is unique and innovative.  Whether he’s designing a logo or illustrating,  Jordan will definitely come up with something incredible and unlike anyone else.

My sons are grown now.  But my memories linger on.   I still see them sleeping with those cuddly little “loveys” that I just unpacked.   I still feel them on my lap as I read to them from these old worn out books.  And I’m just amazed at how uncanny each of them resemble the traits of the books that were so dear to them.   I think I’ll hang on to this box just a little while longer.  These memories are so dear…

Our Fireflies theme for April is, Making Memories.    Please join us as we explore three new delightful books; all about special and unique family memories.   Perhaps one day you will discover one of our April book choices in a box marked, “STUFF”.

Mary Kline
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Comments

  1. Remember the silky so vividly! What beautiful memories of love.

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