There’s a box she once gave me. It’s beautiful. It’s creme colored with little angels all over. Totally her. I can see it now. It’s sitting on my closet shelf. Perfectly in sight – but up high. High enough so my little ones can’t reach it. Inside is every letter my husband wrote to me while he was away at basic training. It’s old. Decades-old. Worn. One of the corners is broken. Very broken. In fact, sometimes the letters stick out. I should probably replace it. But I won’t. You see, that beautiful box is one of the only things I have left. Aside from my memories. So many truly beautiful memories. Memories filled with delicious food, laughter, dancing and love. So much love. And while each and every one of those memories are great, it’s not the same.
This box was once hers. This box once stored treasures of her own inside (maybe love notes Tio had written to her during the early years of their marriage). This box was once held in her petite but powerful hands. This box was special to her. She told me herself. So this box will never come off the shelf.
At least not until I’m old and grey.
Maybe I can give it to my sons’ wife one day.
I don’t have many mementos from my childhood, let alone ones passed down from other family members. Truthfully, I never understood the importance of keeping these little trinkets.
Now I do.
Now I understand that they are very vital when it’s all we have left.
As my family finds themselves mourning again, all I can think about is her – how it still hurts, how it will always hurt. But I have this box. And this box, it means A LOT.