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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Souvenirs


A couple of weeks ago we had a garage sale for the first time in about five years. We sold a lot of stuff but surprisingly we still have a garage full left. It was so hard deciding what to sell, what to keep and what to throw away. We were going through a box of old books and Jon pulled out this little white zippered Bible. I said " Oh that was my first Bible. My mom gave it to me for Christmas when I was about six. See she signed and dated it." Jon looked at it and said "So what do you think, about three dollars?" He is no where near as funny as he thinks.

It's hard for me to let things go. It's not so much the things but the memories tied to the things.I still have a bone shaped dog tag engraved with the name Sidney for a dog I owned about five minutes. The tag came in the mail a week after the dog was stolen from my yard. But I will never forget her.

Right now my daughter, Sarah's wedding dress is driving me crazy. She may not want it, but I can't part with it, even if it is in my way. I have Tonka trucks, G I Joes and Barbies. And I also have batons. Fire batons, hoop batons, knives and plain old twirling batons. I keep them in a closet where I don't have to look at them, but I feel better knowing they are still there. You see my little girl was a baton twirler. She twirled through middle school, high school and was the feature twirler at her university when she died. It was a huge part of both our lives. For many years family vacations were planned around twirling contest.

We moved to another house shortly after Lauren died. It was just too hard. Before we moved, I would wake up every morning, try to walk down the hall to the kitchen, but would always end up leaning on her bedroom door crying. Driving home from work, I would remember how happy it made me to see her little black car sitting in the driveway. I would pull into the drive and just sit, dreading that empty house.

So we sold the house and moved into town. But I couldn't part with her things so I set up her room just as if she was coming home. I know, crazy huh. I even hung her Tinkerbell poster on the wall.

There is a song by John Prine called Souvenirs. In one verse it says,

I hate graveyards and old pawn shops

For they always bring me tears.

I can't forgive the way they robbed me

Of my childhood souvenirs.

It's a good "feeling sorry for myself" song, as are most of John Prine's songs.

I know I said I would keep it light, sorry, I guess I lied.

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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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