Since my father-in-law passed away in December, my husband's family has been cleaning his house. We're clearing away the clutter, but we're careful to not wipe away the ninety years he existed. There is a big difference.
At first I vowed not to let this happen to my children. No way would they have to go inch by inch through my life, peeling back decades of collectibles. After hours going through boxes and cartons and shelves and drawers, I determined I would come home and do it myself to save them the trouble. Grandpa and Grandma (and now we're into great grandma's stacks) saved everything. EVERYTHING!
But wait. I'm learning one thing.
This is part of the healing process.
We have found letters our children wrote to their grandparents, even the thank you notes that I remember standing over them a couple days after Christmas, not letting them play with their presents any more until they officially thanked their grandparents.
A further layer down we found letters from us as newly weds, another layer down, my husband's letters home from college, cards he and his brothers sent their mother for Mother's Day, every year, every card. Deeper than that we found the cards from their childhood, the handmade Christmas cards they crafted at art class at school and the fifties style Valentines that only a boy could think of to send his mother. Like this one:
I case you can't read it, the message in the hearts, after the Valentine Ho, reads I M 4 U.
We can't put our twenty-first century glasses on to read this. We must go back a century, back to when innocence counted. Back to when texting as we know it hadn't been invented. Back to life in the fifties, a different world that I'm rediscovering at Grandpa's every week.
Catch of the day,