Not to long ago I wrote about “The Box” – the box of letters from my dad to my mom while he was in Vietnam. Well I have my own box of treasures. Let me back up. A few weeks ago I get a call from one of my ex husbands employee’s who has been cleaning out a shop and found what he described to me as a box of keepsakes from my childhood. He asked if I wanted them. I thought what box would my ex have of my stuff but I told the employee – yes I do want the box and I would come and get it. Well several weeks past and I have forgotten about it frankly until today. I went and retrieved the box and haphazardly looked though it before putting it in the back of my car. It was a box of stuff my mother had packed for me when I got married and I guess it had gotten stored in a shop after one of our many moves.
Later this afternoon I went through my box to see what treasure I could find. It contained birthday cards, valentine cards, etc from friends and family. It had a “School Days” book that I would fill out every school year – include a picture and then all the keepsakes from the year. Kindergarten through Senior Year. And I apparently was pretty religious about completing the book and saving all kinds of sweet keepsakes. My box even had all of the posters from my room as a teenager – I was apparently in love with Sylvester Stalone – lol.
Then I came across a brown envelope with just my name on it. Inside of it was notes and letters. I began to read them and realized these were all the notes that were sent to me when I made my confirmation retreat as a Junior in High School. My heart stopped and I immediately started looking for his handwriting….. I held my breath when I found it. My DAD’s letter written some 30+ years ago to me. I read every word and it was like I was reading it for the first time. I don’t remember ever reading it although I know I did. Now at age 48 his words resonate with me and the young girl that I was. The letter echoed how proud he was of me. That we had our disagreements but he knew I had my own way of doing things that would serve me well one day. He knew that I was reasonable and would understand that he had to make me live within the rules of his household. Even then he promised to always be by my side and to help in anyway I needed him to. He knew I would forge my own path and believed in me. I am certain it was the most difficult thing to stand idly by and watch me become someone who he knew I wasn’t – someone that had become so small and meek- all those years while I was married. My mom always told me that when I did things in my youth that they didn’t necessarily agree with – That we got no reaction from my dad or opposition from him was because he didn’t care. But that wasn’t the case – he did care – he cared differently than she did. He was a quiet man – he let me live my life and only stepped in when I needed or wanted him to. In his letter he states that he isn’t good at expressing his feelings. Most men aren’t – especially from that generation. But for my dad he didn’t always need to say his feelings – as I grew up I knew them – she showed me by his actions.
What a treasure that box brought me today. His handwriting. His thoughts and words on a page to me. Him loving me as a teenager who challenged him in every way – lol – but him seeing and knowing my potential! I am forever grateful that MY Box found its way back into my possession.
There was even a letter from my sweet Grandmother. Oh the treasures…. Here are a few newspaper clippings that I found in the box – who knew I was in the newspaper that much.