Last night I thought I'd dig into my hope chest and begin packing up the items that are in it. As I lifted the lid, the aroma of the cedar wood drifted up and took me away to a world of memories.
I found calendars all the way from 1998... dates marked of when I took my first pregnancy test, when my 9 week old baby was booked for surgery, play dates, doctor appointments, my sister's wedding, miscarriages, the births of my daughters, when we first brought the dog home, road trips, new jobs, funerals... the list is endless.
I had a moment of wondering why I even bothered keeping these things but then thought "because it's my history". These are the events that shaped who I am, what I've become as a wife and mom, how my faith has risen and fallen. These are the events that have been such an important and intricate part of my life and more specifically, the past 12 years. So I will keep the bulky calendars.
In the bottom of my hope chest was a shoe box. Not remembering what was in it, I opened it and it took my breath away. I set the box that contained items from my Mom's funeral on the bed and began to explore the contents of it... all the cards, newspaper announcement, church bulletin, eulogy written by my uncle, tribute written by my sister and I, a letter from my brother, notes, words of encouragement from family and friends. I was taken back more than 10 years to the day that God brought her Home. I was saddened and even let some anger slip in as to why I had to experience such pain and loss at only 21 years old. I thought of all the joys that she's missed... another grandson, four granddaughters, new children in law... makes my heart hurt.
I also found many remnants from my wedding. A truly joyous day of my life. The day I united with my best friend and hero. The young man who has become my tower to lean on, my supporter, lover, my knight in shining armor, the one who knows me better than anyone else. With him we've created four wonderful children who are (for the most part) the delights of my day. They bring me joy and laughter like I've never known. They made me the person I've wanted to be since I was a little girl... a mom.
My hope chest holds so much that is close to me. It is full of memories that made me laugh, cry, and reminisce through the years. Doug lovingly built the cedar box for me for my birthday many years ago, which I now place small things that mean so much to me and need to be treasured.