I know why I put it off. It’s been here since August sitting in my garage. After we sold my mother’s house, we went through so many things. The one thing I just could not quite bring myself to empty was her desk—perhaps the most intimate part of her life, where she meticulously kept so many things, pieces of life, pieces of our stories. Surreal, as if time stood still, I opened up some of the things that my mother held most dear. I found my dad’s drafting brush, his lumber crayons, even the last set of pipe cleaners he bought for his pipe. I found my first Bible that I got in Sunday school when I was about 5 or so, with my daddy’s perfect drafting lettering of my name in the front. It was there, meant for me to find. Somehow it was just mine, as I opened up the top drawer. There it was—-my life, too. So uniquely personal what each one of us values.
I always thought my mother wasn’t a saver of things, but everything I found was carefully calculated for me to see just as she planned. She had quite a bit of time to plan just how we found each part of her life—the letters from my dad to her wrapped in a satin ribbon, the pictures organized by date and written on the back so we would know who each one was. But not her desk—her desk was a integral and personal part, her vulnerability and personality captured in each drawer—more so than her makeup or her shoes—and believe me, the woman had a shoe collection!
She had a thing about office supplies and always had plenty as backups. I found them today. Now I know where I get this strange affinity for paper clips. I guess it’s just another day in the life, but today the desk gets moved to a little house on the land where my mother grew up. And I get to put it there. It just seems right.
I’ll always remember the letters from her husband wrapped in a satin ribbon…that’s how I want to go…all in—in love with my husband cherishing his words…I don’t want to keep anyone’s words to me—I throw them away and my God just convicted me through this post why I am doing that…can’t thank you enough…with tears rolling down my face…I think people are just being nice…but their actions don’t match their words—so few people I know resolve things and their actions match their words…they just act nice and shove things down and that’s suppose to be offering forgiveness, being nice…hmmmm…wonder why I don’t keep words from people…
It looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. You and your mother are very similar. Don’t you just love seeing your Dad’s block printing? I enjoyed seeing it. The pipe cleaner… so special and I’m sure brought back some sweet memories. Who would have thought after all of those years and that first Bible you would be sharing with me. I bet the desk is just perfect for your special spot.
I am so grateful to you that she left those things and just so…and that she knew you would be blessed. I have had to clean out both houses of both mothers. Mama was not educated beyond high school, but she had things in order and marked etc. was such a blessing and on the other hand my mother in law who had a degree and had taught school for over thirty years…left a mess and nothing in order and no fond memories. So, dear girl you were doubly blessed….what sweet, sweet memories. Thanks for sharing, brought back some to me.
That is just the sweetest thing. How wonderful to have those tangible reminders of your mom. I know you will get such joy writing at that desk!
How touching. When daddy died and we, about a year later, went through his things, we felt just like that. His signature handkerchiefs, not to be interpreted fancy. He just always had a handkerchief in his pocket. Things in his very unique handwriting. Though they are just things, they are things from our lives!
So sweet a post, Annie.