Wednesday, February 3, 2010

my chest.

I swear the last two weeks have been hell on me. First my tumors were bothering me and now I got a damn sinus infection. I guess it really isn't and infection since the stuff I am blowing out is not green. I have been using a lot of old wives tales and they really work. At one point I thought my teeth were going to pop out of my head, now I can open my mouth and kinda chew.

Anyway on to my chest. When I turned 16 I asked my dad for a ceder chest, and he bought it for me. I loved that thing, and I have toted it around the world. I really wanted my great grandmothers chest, but I was told no that I could not have it. My great grandmothers chest was huge. and there is just a treasure trove of stuff in there.

Well last weekend Nikki had her winter formal and she asked me if I had any gloves. You know "the old kind that the ladies wore. They would go up past the elbow." As a matter of fact I do. I went into the garage, and cleared off the top of my ceder chest, and attempted to open it.

I started digging. I found my first sleeping bag, some of the girls baby stuff, old photo albums, a note my dad wrote me, and then there they were the gloves. Nikki jumped for joy, but in the end she wore the little Jackie O style gloves.

After Nikki left I went back out to my chest, and I pulled out my sleeping bag. It has raggedy Ann and Andy on it. I folded it just right, and then I hung it next to Rusty's great grandmothers quilt. The marines and Rusty were just looking at me. I finally said "This is my first sleeping bag and I have a picture of my grandmother helping Santa fix it up right. I can either let it finish rotting in the chest or I can hang it up and get some joy out of it, and then throw it away."

Rusty just smiled and said "I have never seen that before". Yep I believe it. That chest has been a taboo place for anyone but me. Those are my memories and no one needs to be in there.

Oh dear Lord I just turned into my mother! My mother has the chest that I wanted, and I asked her one time if she even knew what was in the chest. She said that she knew some of the stuff, including the dead relatives, but most of it she has no idea about. There are family pictures in there, and we don't know who they are! No one ever took the time to pass along all this information.

Here I am with my own chest. It is full of memories and if I don't start telling my children about this stuff then they will never know. I have a note in there that my father wrote to me when I left for Europe. Before I left I told my dad to step off and that I hated him. Then when I landed I called him and told him that I hated him and that I was never coming back. I then went and unpacked my bags and I found a note from dad saying that he hopes we can have a wonderful relationship when I get back. There was also $800 in there.

I need to tell my children these things. I also need to clear out the junk. Today I went into the chest and grabbed out two photo albums. I started flipping through the pages and I realized that what I once thought was valuable is now trash. Why do I have pictures of people I will never see again, or of people that I did not even like back then. I took out some of the photos, and threw the rest away.

Its funny. When I got that chest and I started putting stuff in it I thought that was the most important stuff. Now I am looking at it and discovering that it is not important and that is important is right here in this house right now.

On another note. Rusty got his dream job! I am so proud of him. We are still waiting to see what is going to happen with the house.


Paula said...

Yea for Rusty! I have a cedar chest in my garage and the only thing I remember that is in there is some pajamas Mel sent me from Japan in the 50's. I've got to open that thing up some day and check it out.

That corgi :) said...

congrats to Rusty!! I bet you are both sooooo excited! sorry about the sinus infection, hoping you feel better soon

I do hope you share the memories with your children; they probably will enjoy hearing about them!


Missie said...

Congrats to Rusty. Enjoy your day!

Nelishia said...

This was a very meaningful and important blog and I hope many who read it feel the nudge to do what you did. I'm writing stuff down. I'm scanning pictures and information so that everyone will have the same thing. I think. I don't want anyone to be hurt or feel slighted.
Your memory of your youth with your Dad made me feel so sad. I did things like that and now I feel awful since he's dead and I can't say how sorry I am. I'd like to know he knows.
My mother has a cedar chest too.
Dirk's mother gave me hers. How sweet is that?
Love you Kelli!

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I am a stay at home mom. I am also married to a veteran and he is the love of my life. I keep it real here and I hold nothing back. My life is a roller coaster ride, so strap on your seatbelt.... here we go!