I’m in the midst of packing up my apartment. I’m amazed at the stuff I’ve got hanging around – old yearbooks, varsity letters from high school, cards, photos, letters, journals, magazine articles I meant to read once upon a time though for the life of me can’t remember why I was interested in reading them in the first place. It’s amazing what we accumulate.
I have two large closets in my front hallway that I have dreaded packing into boxes. I knew it would be a long, arduous process and therefore put it off as long as I could. Finally, I couldn’t sleep because I was so worried about packing them up so I just got up out of bed and started the inevitable sorting, tossing, and packing of their contents. Some of the memories they contain are painful, though most of them are happy. And thankfully, the contents are so old that my mind has gleefully erased most of the sadness, loss, frustration, and unhappiness that some of their contents used to trigger, leaving behind only the good memories in their wake.
I got my love for cards and letter writing from my grandmother, Sadie. She sent cards for every occasion from birthdays to Valentine’s Day to Halloween to First Day of School. I found a stack of them in one of the boxes crammed into the top shelf of my closet. I’d know that handwriting anywhere. My grandmother passed away 9 years ago, and still I miss getting those cards in her perfect cursive handwriting.
As I re-read the cards this week, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that I kept them. It’s my own little piece of her that I can always have. I hear her voice through those cards and am reminded of how much she loved me and cherished me. It’s things like these cards that have become my most cherished possessions. They didn’t cost a lot of money and they didn’t take a lot of time to create. Their simplicity and heartfelt emotion are the only gifts I ever really needed.