Friday, August 17, 2007

A Box of Memories [CCR]

The boys and I have started getting the shop ready for moving. It is simply amazing what one finds when preparing for the movers. I found an old box of “Mark’s Memories” with letters dating back to my first year in college, many from my grandparents and parents. By all rights I should throw them away, but there is something special about those memories from old friends and family. Some of those friends I haven’t seen since the letter was written and others have since crossed my winding path in life.

Digging deeper I find a letter from Rebecca Rutland. Rebecca was a dear friend throughout my high school years. Not only did we have many classes together, we marched up and down many footballs fields around North Alabama. By the end of high school we decided to keep in touch as we went our separate ways. I was in Auburn and she went to Huntsville. For a laugh we always included silly notes on the outside of the letters to make people wonder. She might add something like “Test Results” on the letter where I might write “Divorce Papers Enclosed.” The notes were always florescent to capture attention. I am sure the mail carriers wondered what was happening.

Earlier in high school we were always sharing laughs with each other and anyone who would join in on the fun. Mrs. Malone, our twelfth grade homeroom teacher, would always hear the latest from either one of us. I am not sure how we would have survived those years without good friendship and great laughs.

Digging a little deeper into the box I find a letter from my Grandmother Daily. I had forgotten about the letter encouraging me in my schoolwork at Auburn. She shared all the news from Mountain Springs and expressed the love from Granddaddy and her. I found a letter from Grandmother Smith. She wrote many words of heartfelt spiritual support and how God would help me get that engineering degree, and she was right.

There are so many words of love and support in the box it makes me think about how we should always cherish our friends and family. Some are still around, yet I don’t know where they may be today. Others have left in body but not in spirit. Yet I think how we really need to cherish what we have today. In the big picture disagreements mean so little compared to what you might be missing and longing for tomorrow. I look through the box and find each of those who wrote me were real supporters.

One last careful glance through the box. I can’t throw away all those memories, not yet. I guess they will remain for my children or grandchildren to sort through. I carefully place all the aged papers back into the box and tape it carefully shut. With great difficulty I leave the box for the movers to pack. I wouldn’t think it has any value in the overall picture, but it represents who I am today.

Don’t let another day go by where you haven’t called an old friend or family member. Life is too short to neglect a memory for yourself or future generations. I only hope I find the little box in Tennessee and don’t wait as long before I again read about those who brought me a smile, a hope, and a future.