My memory isn’t great at dates. Today I am sorting and purging AGAIN, and I ran across 28 cards I was keeping. I got them all for one single Mother’s Day, but which? Not sure. It may have been 2010, but it hardly matters. I got them all from the same person.
They are signed: “Much, Much Love”, “Hope you have a great day”, “WOW, are you surprised to be getting a Mother’s Day card?”, “Sorry, all I got you was a card, LOL”, “Hope you are loving your cards.”, “J”, “<3”, “WOW, I’m nuts, LOL”, “Much Love”, “Oodles of love”, “Awwww, pretty sappy huh ?!?”, “Roses are red, violets are blue, I wonder how many cards, I actually got you…..??”, “Who said it’s just one day”, “LMAO”, “Hope all these cards have helped offset the smattering of negative mail such as ….bills, invites from OH…[LOL]”, “So, I just grabbed a card for ya….LOL”, “We all love you”, “Love, Travis. In case he doesn’t come thru on his own”, “<3, Happy Mother’s Day”, “Roses are red, violets are blue, excited about this new house, which sounds perfect for you!”, “Love Ya”, “I love you”, “Memories – Spider? Or cat hair – Holy Shit, SPIDER”, “Much Amore, Madre”, “Hope you are truly enjoying Mother’s day….which is every day!” “Love”.
There are lines and lines of notes, quotes, poems, love and laughter spread throughout all the cards. They didn’t come all at once. It was a great time to get the mail, which is rarely that big a treat.
So one year, much love was shared, long distance. We had all those inside jokes that make up a family. A word or deed mentioned and we could both laugh “long distance”. The handwriting was family. The cards lined our desk, decorated the night stand, and marched across the mantle. They were a rush and I loved each one and laughed in all the right places. I knew the fun that was enjoyed shopping and writing and sending. It almost matched the trip to the mailbox and the opening and reading. Sort of like a treasure box on each end.
Our family treasure boxes disappeared with the firing of a gun. Even as grown-ups, we were unprepared and ignorant of how to walk or run or crawl beyond that single moment. The bullet ricocheted from boy to Mom to sister and brother and father and grandparents and uncles and aunts and cousins and great relatives. It is still bouncing from love to love, from caring person to caring person, plowing through each heart and moving on, target after target. It is coated with so much torn love and anger, the weight should have stopped its journey by now, but it seems destined to orbit our family planet far into the future.
My first instinct [remember, I’m sorting and purging] was to purge! How many keepsakes can I store? Who else would want these cards, but me? I can’t believe I still have them! The thing is ….. I read them and now I can’t throw them away. I knew what they were when I found them and that’s when I could have pitched them. After rereading them, I can’t.
I have put them back. Maybe I want them because they came “before”. Maybe I want them for the love that is on them. Maybe next time around, I will let them go. Not today…….