I was digging through an old box in the garage recently, rummaging through old letters, faded photographs, artifacts of earlier times.
There they were--thin gold octagonal wire frames, around slightly scratched bifocals. Beside them was a Mothers Day card colored on torn, faded construction paper by a little boy named Terry. There were yellowed photos of a young woman and friends in flapper dresses and old cars, brittle brown envelopes with three-cent stamps and hand-writing scribbled on them, postmarked in Texas in the 1920s and 30s.
I was sitting on the concrete floor, trying to straighten up and sort through the boxes one more time...you know, a typical weekend chore. Among the boxes of junk--junk that is too valuable to be thrown away, but you don't know what to do with--were baby pictures, kid pictures, young adult pictures that record the passing of time in individuals, in families.
There are days like that, family reunion days. You sit and visit with people you’ve known for years, watching them grow older. Some with walkers, some with oxygen tubes, kids and grandkids and great grandkids scrambling around, people feasting on a smorgasbord of food and faces and family.
And then you think about them watching you grow older... like the stuff that spills out of an old box. A guest book of a wedding or a funeral, scribbled family history notes with dates of births and marriages and deaths of brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles, children.
|Mom's coin purse|
|Mom and Jerry at his graduation|
from Lubbock Christian with the glasses
A musty smell of growing older, perfumed slices of time frozen in eternity. They bring tears, until you think about your own children growing older, and what they’ll look at and remember some day when they’re sifting through boxes, wondering when certain snapshots were taken, who those other people were. The tears are of sadness and regrets and memories, but not of growing older.
Years and memories are like children, and like boxes full of mementoes, the more you have the fuller your life becomes.
I picked up Momma’s glasses and looked through them briefly, and they gave me a new outlook on all those boxes in our lives.
|Mom, with glasses and the first five grandchildren, in Waurika|
Vance, Dallas, Becky, Derrick and Vance