The drawer at the top of my dresser is one of those skinny drawers that are really useless for storing anything. I suppose some women use it for socks, underwear or even jewelry – but mine is a haphazard collection of items.
The drawer is a mess and their seems to be no rhyme or reason as to what it contains.
It contains my memories.
Some of the items in the drawer are easily recognized as having sentimental value, like the Mother’s day cards or the anniversary card from my husband. As typically would be found in most Mothers’ collection of mementos, you can find the plastic necklace made for me by my daughter and the gum ball ring that my, now six foot three, son bought for me on a Mother’s day many years ago. Others might also guess that the silly little hat decoration (a hat the size of a thimble) was a craft from one of my childrens’ school projects. The sweet love letters from my husband need no explanation.
Other items are more abstract. In this drawer I have a scrap of green cloth that was once part of a very ugly church banner that I had made and immediately realized it was a mistake. When the priest saw it he cracked a joke about how it looked like I was hanging my bath towels out to dry in the church. I think I keep it to remember not to take myself too seriously. I also have a piece of handmade wrapping paper from a gift given to me by a friend. It is red with handmade gold polka dots on it. My friend certainly didn’t make the paper – He most likely re-gifted the paper to me. I can’t remember the gift it was wrapped in – just the person who gave it.
Other items in the drawer recall memories more bittersweet – like the tiny crocheted pink rabbit pin my sister made in the year before she died – some 30 years ago. Or the newspaper article about the fundraiser that my husband and I did for a SIDS fundraiser after we lost our son so tragically. For some reason I kept a letter – a rejection letter of sorts – that brought me pain. I look at the letter periodically and remember the pain. Maybe I keep it as a way to guard myself from being too hopeful. Afraid of disappointment.
Some items are unrecognizable even to me. There is an assortment of rocks in the back of the drawer. No doubt they were given to me by a child on a walk, or I picked them up on a vacation. One is black flat and smooth. I am sure I took it from Lake Superior but I can’t remember if it was from a trip with my sisters or from a family vacation.
Sometimes the feelings attached to the memories change. What was once a sweet memory of my little girl, is now a reminder that she has grown up – the feeling is more bittersweet. The disappointment of the rejection letter has faded after the newness has worn away.
Periodically I clean out the drawer – once every ten years or so. I throw away the items that have lost any meaning or memory and keep others. It becomes a bit of a ritual for me, a time to choose what I will keep and what I will throw away. I think I will throw away that letter – time to let go of lost hope and hurt feelings and become hopeful once again.
Wishing you a very happy happy New Year!