JOY --- Jesus On the JourneY

Friday, June 17, 2011

Traces . . .

Traces of Relationships --

My attic toss project is evolving and as I went through tubs of my Mother's yesterday, I found letters exchanged between she and my Dad before they married and valentines they gave each other throughout their marriage of 51 years.   My greatest find was letters from my grandmother, whom I had never known, written to my mother -- I can't wait to sit down with these and learn more about this special lady.

There were letters from Terry's mother written to me in college (before she became my mother-in-law).

Letters that my mother's friends had written to me my first few weeks in college --

I kept lots of these and I can't wait to read 'em --

I filled a 39-gallon trash can with all the other cards Mom and Dad received from others or exchanged with each other. There were tons that my brothers and I had sent to them. . . . all of these representing traces of relationships and reminders of precious relationships --

I looked at that bulging trash can and thought "Hallmark surely made a lot of money on that!"
In all of these -- one dominant theme -- expressions of love and caring the words unsaid were "you matter to me"

We do it differently now -- we text message a few words -- we shoot off an e-card, e-mail or we send some crazy forward that tells us we are loved and if we don't hurry and send it on in 8 sec.we won't get our wishes granted -- - writing letters and sending cards are going out of fashion.

Traces of my  past --
I found my report cards from elementary school

         ---- my dolls and all the doll clothes my mother had painstakingly made -- one poor doll was so old her leg had disintegrated (I told you my Mother was a treasure keeper)

               --- 4-H project books and ribbons earned

                   --- my childhood Bible

 -   my college projects that I'd labored over  for days some 40+ years ago

--an evaluation of my first year of teaching -- certificates from  various volunteer organizations --

                   there were letters written from a foster daughter who was with us for 19 months in the late 70's

                            artwork done by a high school foreign exchange student who lived with us during Bethany's first year

Church bulletins and newspaper articles when we arrived at a new church -- the same when we moved on

                              Special accomplishments or recognitions granted -
                                       -thank you notes for some act of kindness

This much needed Attic Purge Project has flooded me with memories and given me impressions of my "people" and traces of the past that connect to my future and are a part of who I am at this moment.

I have been blessed to know such loving people through family, friends and church - People who left impressions and traces  on my life -- all are a part of my forever family -I'm gonna have an eternity  to spend time retracing and reconnecting these relationships!

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