Cleaning and reorganizing the garage over the weekend, I came across several boxes of items I had almost forgotten about. With each unpacked layer, I came across wonderful surprises. Some items brought laughter. Others brought tears and bittersweet feelings. Each knick knack, a reminder of the different times and people of my life.
This music box was given to me by my best friend in college. Back then, we were practically inseparable. I have so many good memories of those years in college. We’re still friends, but we aren’t nearly as close as we used to be. People change over time. People grow apart. I think it’s the evolution of relationships. It doesn’t change how important they were or are though.
This figurine was a bridal shower gift from my Aunt Bobbie. She adored my ex-husband, with good reason. She died in 2006, a few weeks before I came out to my family and announced I was getting a divorce. Part of me is glad she didn’t have to go through that. Part of me believes she would’ve made it all easier for my family to deal with if she had been alive. We’ll never know.
The plastic frog belonged to a good friend of mine. We worked together for many years and that is how we became friends. I’ve written about her before. She gave me the frog when she left the company. It was one of the few material reminders I have of her. When I put my new desk together, froggie will have a place on the shelves.
My ex-husband (I still have to remember to put the ex in front sometimes…) gave me this music box one year. He always had a knack for getting me the perfect gift and rarely needed ideas. His new fiancee is a lucky woman.
I finally got four rolls of film developed over the weekend. Some of the rolls were over 5 years old. This is a picture of my mom, her two sisters, and my cousin. My Aunt Bobbie is the one sitting holding the baby. My mom is standing behind her. Next to her is my Aunt Mary Ann, who died two weeks ago. I’ll be attending her funeral tomorrow, celebrating her life and seeing family members I haven’t seen in six years or more.
All of this is a sober reminder to me today of just how unpredictable life is. I sit here writing this as I alternate between sobbing, blowing my nose, and using my inhaler to catch my breath. The dog is practically in my lap because she knows something is wrong. I’ve said before that I don’t do grief well. It always sneaks up on me. An event. A memory. An item. It can trigger the emotional breakdown when I least expect it.
I cry for all the lost moments over the years. I cry for all the lost time not spent with family and friends because I was trapped in a horrible relationship. I cry for the time lost with and by my mom because she refuses to move past her grief from six years ago and live again. I cry because there’s nothing I can do.
When I’m done crying, I will carry on. We must honor those who pass and the best way we can do that is to live and love fully. When someone special comes into your life, love them and appreciate them as much as you can because you never know when they’ll be gone. Don’t let grief keep you from living or loving. Don’t let fear keep you from living or loving.
We were put on this earth to live and love and be good to one another. That is the best way we can honor the lives that have touched us.