This summer, we found out that my grandpa has cancer in the bile duct of his liver. This word is not new to my family. In 2010, we lost my grandma to a five year battle with ovarian cancer. But, what is new is my children’s awareness of what is happening now as opposed to five years ago. They were only two and five at that time; almost still considered babies.
Now, they are seven and ten, and they question everything. The first question they both asked me was “Is Grandpa going to die?” (more…)
Every once in a while I go on a decluttering spree.
The standard procedure is: open all drawers, cupboards and boxes in a room, dump contents on floor or bed, start shifting into piles, throw away and return what must be kept. Usually the stuff we keep is thrown back where it came from. But some things are removed from the general junk pile and kept separately in a special box.
The box is not fancy. Far from it! It’s a plain, stupid, light blue Ikea box. It is the content which is important, not the packaging. The things inside that box are the things that matter. It is a collection of random objects without any real value so to speak of. But each item represents a significant event or a milestone.
Such as our wedding invitations, the box that held our rings, an old locket with pictures of me and my husband dating from when we just met. Here are the hospital bracelets both daughters wore when they were born, their birth announcements, a pair of the tiniest socks knitted by my mother-in-law, my first Mother’s Day gift, my late godfather’s obituary.
I’ve only started the box recently. December 2014 to be exact. It was a difficult time for me, right after death of my godfather. I was sad and depressed, with a giant hole in my heart. I constantly wanted to return to the past but couldn’t because the present laid its claim on me and there was little time to reminiscence, let alone grieve. I had so many feelings, yet couldn’t channel them.
And then, during my last clean-up round, I started putting these thing into a box rather than tossing them back into the drawer where they had come from.
It felt cleansing.
There was no master plan involved. It was just stuff I wanted to keep with me, but not within arm’s reach. It stored my memories and the accompanying feelings of hope, joy, grief and despair.
Every once in a while I look through the box or add something. The content makes me smile and cry at the same time.
Just like life.
Do you keep a Memory Box? What does it contain?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Tinne @ Tantrums & Tomatoes from Belgium. Photo credit: Antara. This picture has a creative commons attribution license.
I remember when we brought my son home, he had the squishiest face, the most delicious chin, the chubbiest thighs and the most beautiful brown eyes that had every looked at me. He was the most precious thing I had ever held, touched or seen.
I remember his “clingy” phase of not wanting anyone else but me. I was so exhausted, but he was so happy to just have me with him. I remember his first days of preschool and the crying fits he had when I left and repeated to him over and over, “Mommy always comes back.” It broke my heart to leave him, but I also knew that it was part of him growing up and that it was time.
It’s funny when you hear that phrase…It’s time. It always means that change is coming… (more…)
I was watching my daughter play with a bubble machine today. She and I were laughing as she was running through the bubbles, and we were both looking at the bubbles floating up to the sky trying to see different images. I looked over at her as she watched the bubbles drift away and she had the biggest, sweetest smile on her face. I wondered in my mind if she would remember this extra special ordinary day because I knew I was making an imprint of it in my own mind…these special moments with just the two of us in the middle of the day in the middle of a week are starting to slip through my fingers… (more…)
I’ve always been determined that my children will have every cultural advantage I had as a child, which means that they will know how to swim competitively, to read music, to play at least one instrument, and have an additional sport of their choice. It seemed a matter of course that they would also go to the Symphony (ballet, opera and theatre) and have cultivated a great love of reading from an early age.
But I’m starting to realize that I’m setting an unfair expectation. First of all, they do benefit from many of these things. My 8-year old daughter takes classical ballet twice a week, and has solfège (music theory) along with her piano lessons. My 7-year old son has soccer once a week, introduction to solfège and instrument discovery, which will help him choose what he will want to play in the future. My youngest son, who is only four, is taking multi-sports – his own particular activity that he takes very seriously as a participating member of the under-ten set in the family.
But Symphony and theatre? It’s too far, too expensive, too inconvenient. Swimming lessons? We can’t fit them into our already packed schedule. And reading? I’m not inspired to go to the library each week like I did as a child, because it means that they will be reading even more French, and they already get plenty of that in school. What about that love of literature they were supposed to have cultivated in English – in my native tongue? For heaven’s sake, they don’t even know they’re half-American, and keep asking when we’re going to go visit their grandparents in England again! (more…)