When I was a little girl, our house was filled with kids - cousins, nieces, nephews, and all those that sometimes came with those. Sometimes they were there for a few hours, and sometimes for longer.
Our house was not a large house.
Therefore, my room became the gathering place for all the kids - a virtual play room.
Nothing was sacred.
Nothing was safe.
She found an old shoe box and brought it to me one day.
Told me to take my most precious things and put them into that shoe box.
Put the lid on it, and wrap a rubber band around it.
Then, she told everyone who came over that that shoe box was "Margaret Lee's" and that they were not to touch it, not to look in it, and certainly not to take anything out nor put anything in!
That shoe box became a place of treasures and prizes and a touchstone between Momma and me - no matter who was there, no matter how busy life got, nor how full the house became, it was "mine" ... and only Momma could touch it. :)
I carry that "shoe box" with me even now ...
oh that original shoe box has long since worn out and fallen apart.
But ever since then, no matter where I am, no matter what is going in my life ... I have my one "shoe box" that is mine alone.
It has taken the form of a drawer at times.
Other times it was a shelf on the wall.
Or a box of some fashion that sat for all to see.
Most often these last few years it has taken the shape of a laptop computer.
When the kids grew up and found their own way in this world, it became an RV -
for we downsized and all my treasures moved from a large house into a "shoe box" of a house.
Rick knew the story ... and he understood.
He was the one thru those 34 years together to bring me a lot of the treasures that I have put into my different shoe boxes.
Mandy and Joshua know ... and they too have filled my shoe boxes.
Now the grandkids all know the story ... and they help to fill my shoe box, too.
They all know that they can ask permission and I will open my shoe box and share my treasures.
They laugh and tease me ... but you can see the pride and joy in their eyes when they touch something that was given by them.
Now, I am searching for treasures to add to my "new" shoe box.
Treasures that will be a reminder of this grief walk, a time of growing and learning.
A shoe box in the form of my computer, my "smart" (or stupid, depending on the moment, lol) phone, my tablet, even my new Erin Condren planner (which I love, love, LOVE).
So, yes ... I still have a shoe box!
And I will always have one!
Thank you Momma!
I love you.