Monday, August 8, 2011
In this age of computers and electronic filing I find myself always going to my archived things looking for that email that proves something to me or to the powers that be. What did we do before all of this ability to archive everything? How did we preserve the pass for recall when needed? Well I am happy and really blown away because I now know how it was done.
My lovely wife, for a number of years has been really patience and forgiving where my disaster of a closet has been concerned. She has always dropped those little hints like “you would have a lot more room in here if you organized this just a little bit”. Me always saying “you are right angel I will get on that over the weekend”. Well this past weekend was the weekend. I have been in a funk for well over two months and really can’t say why. I have talked to friends, pastors, and the wife and just can’t find the motivating idea or action to make me simply get up and do something productive. I have a deep seeded feeling I know what it is but am not man enough to face it in this post so it will have to wait a bit. So I arose last Saturday and made the announcement I was going to do something productive. The wife smiled and said those lovely words “how nice” if you know the joke you know what I am saying!!!!
So I got up and started the, what looked, insurmountable task of organizing my closet. Well out came all of the clothes. I found about 20 tee shirts I had no idea I had. Found probably 3 different sizes of pants. More shoes than ANY man should own, and belts that must have belonged to the house previous owners as I have never been that small. Then in the deepest darkest corner of this now open space I saw two boxes. Taped and sealed stacked neatly sitting on top of each other not having been moved in no telling how long. As I picked them up I couldn’t imagine what was so important that I had boxed them up and put them in this strange and unfindable location. The back of MY closet!
Well as I opened the fist box and looked inside a rush of emotion came over me like the way you felt when you father would drive over that one hill on the way home, that one that when he topped it and let of the gas always put your stomach in your throat. There before me was my life. The first box had pictures from my first weeding. Well over 35 years ago. My best man still my best friend to this day. He and I both were about 75 pounds lighter and hair we won’t even go there. There were picture of me and my father I didn’t even know existed. Pictures of all of my grandparents, uncles, aunts, my sisters when they were very small; Pictures of my Mother and all of the family, the houses we lived in, the Christmases, the Thanksgivings, the sisters going off to the prom, unreal archives of mine and my families past. I sat there looking at the pictures of a vacation I took with 3 buddies where we played 36 holes of golf a day for 5 days in a row. Pictures of the two girls, who were best friends, which my best friend and I dated at the same time, the one I married and he didn’t. I sat down and for over an hour I lived in the past. Called my best friend told him what I had found and set a lunch date to look at my new found treasure. Called my first wife told her what I had found and listened to her voice crack and break when I told her I had a picture of my father in the robe she had made him one year for Christmas and she was sitting on the arm of the chair beside him. Hearing her go silent when I told her I had picture of her now pasted grandparents and even of her father and mother when we first got married and went on that honeymoon with them! We laughed and enjoyed the moment together. Then came the hammer, I opened the second box.
This box it seems came from my mother. It contained all of the things from my childhood, clothes, books made in kindergarten, class pictures from every grade first through eighth I think. School picture of all of my sisters, a copy of my uncles first flight certificate she had decapouged; back when that was her thing to do and everything got mounted!! Then under this stack of cards and towards the bottom of the box I found the two things that took my breath. When I was about 9 years old I gave my mother a small figurine It was a small man holding his arms as far apart as possible and the caption on the base read “I Love You This Much” my mother treasured this thing. From the second I gave it to her it was always on display in her kitchen. We always mimicked the pose and say to each other “I love you this much.” I started to cry as I am now as I am almost over whelmed at how much I miss her and still “love her this much”!! Then as if by some guided hand I moved the last piece of crumpled up paper a report card file and there it was. My Mother’s Bible, I also gave her this. I opened it up and read the caption I wrote all of those years ago. Trying to relieve her of any responsibility of the bad in my life by telling her she raised me knowing right from wrong and whenever I did wrong it was my fault not hers! Then as I turned the pages in what was a well used bible I began to read the questions and statements from a life time of trying to get it right. Almost every page had a comment or an underlined passage. I do not know what I treasure more now. I realized I had been sitting for over 2 hours looking over my archive. What a life. I just haven’t been blessed lately I have always been blessed. And here was the archived proof. Just like the emails that save me today here was proof I have lived and incredible life. If I dyed tonight I have lived more than most people ever get to, Blessed Man.
So it is my hope for you that once in your life you find your archive. And have the unimaginable pleasure of reviewing it and feeling like I felt today. And I hope you can reach out to someone in that box and tell them how much they have meant to you during your life. I got to do that as well. What a feeling!!
The Blessed Man