Everyday Spirituality

Archive for February 20, 2012

Memory Box: Things to Keep

Young girls sometimes begin saving things in a hope chest for their eventful wedding day.

They save these items with their hope in a bright happy future.



Years ago women would store things in a cedar chest so they would not get moth ridden. The cedar wood lining of the chest would in effect keep the moths out. It was one way to protect sweaters and blankets.

Today I am writing about a treasure chest. Of course inside of a treasure chest you would expect to find the lost or buried treasure. You would hope to find valuable gold coins from long ago or some exquisite jewelry even more valuable from another era.

The treasure chest itself might be ornate and secured with a large dangling pad lock with the curious missing key. But have no fear because any treasure hunter would have no qualms of prying open the lock to reach the treasure within.


Well you might be wondering; where is she going with all this? I won’t keep you guessing any longer.

Some time back my dear friend gave me a beautiful burled wood box 9inches square and 2 inches deep. At the time I honestly remember thinking, ‘What am I going to do with this BOX?’ I stashed it away on the table in the dining room amidst other stuff.

It was a nice box, but still just a plain highly shellacked box. It is even nicely finished inside. And it does have a clasp to keep it closed, but certainly not locked. There it sat idle and empty…waiting.

Since her death I have begun to look at this box in a new light. As I began to come across some of the things she had given me over the years I would place them on top of this box. I soon decided that I would thoughtfully place some of these things inside the box.

I especially want to save letters and postcards she sent to me while she was traveling. I have birthday cards too she so caringly selected with just the right sentiment written inside for me. She would always add her own personal words to make the card even more special. I like to look at these letters and cards, because I like to look at her handwriting. I like to touch the card knowing she once held it in her own hands. Some of her remains on these pieces of paper.

Not too long before she died we had a little dinner in her home with some of our mutual friends. She had tiny little pieces of china filled with fresh cut miniature flowers at each person’s place. It reminded me of a child’s tea party where everything on the table was set with care and attention to detail. I have placed that precious china piece into the box. I will always remember that wonderful time we had together that evening.

I have memories of many things like her garlic butter which has been consumed and cannot go into the box. Her biscuits from scratch. Yum!

On one of her trips she discovered beautiful hand crafted earthenware. She gave me a couple pieces, but one I accidently broke. It was a small spoon rest; it fell in the sink and broke in half. I have put it temporarily back together with a rubber band, but now it too is in the box.

I do not know how many other things will come to take up their residence in the box. But one thing I do know is whatever is in the box will hold dear memories for me for many years to come.

She was a woman filled with hope so this box could have been called HOPE.

She was a woman who was not deterred by a few pesky ‘moths’ in life so this box could have been called CEDAR.

She was a woman precious as gold or heirloom jewelry so this box could have been called TREASURE.

She was a woman I will forever hold dear in my heart.

So this box is simply called MEMORY.

We will soon be celebrating what would have been her seventieth birthday. She would have thoroughly enjoyed us all gathering around the table for food and fun together. We will sing and join together one more time to honor and remember one treasured wife, mother, and friend once again.

You are loved and missed, my dear friend.