Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Now It's Personal

I keep under lock and key, a file marked "Judi - Personal."  I maintain one for Scott, Christine and Steven as well.  The object was to archive personal items that had no place in our "regular" filing system; artifacts that were not substantial enough in number to require an individual file, but important enough to safeguard.
Upon going through my file the other day, I found a memoir...

A Philadelphia Zoo Elephant Key:  The Philadelphia Zoo had "talking boxes" at many of the exhibits which would squawk with information about the animal whose domain lay before you.  The boxes required the use of "a key" to begin the lesson, keys that were, of course, sold at the Gift Shop for a small fee.  But annual zoo membership was a prerequisite for raising children in the city.  We would spend entire spring and fall afternoons racing from one box to the other -- not even lingering to hear the end of the monologue -- pointing, gawking and shouting, our cheeks red with excitement and exhaustion.   This is the memoir of a mother, holding on to a small piece of her children's childhood.

A Silver Certificate:  I don't know why.  This is the memoir of a child whose mother saved jar after jar of wheat pennies and Mercury dimes.

"Weary:"  A piece written several years ago by a woman who, in all honesty, I did not like very much.  I don't even recall now, but I know we had some sort of "run in" at some point -- totally turned me off.  It's beautiful prose, and it speaks to me even now; I cannot throw it away.  The writer and I attended church together; she later died of a lengthy illness.  I know she loved the Lord and we will meet in Heaven one day -- without egos, without prejudices; I look forward to liking her.  This is the memoir of a sinful human, loved by a God who grants her beauty, even in the most unlikely places.

My Aunt's Obituary:  She and I were never close; I didn't even attend her funeral.  She is the only link I have right now, to that part of who I am.  This is the memoir of a daughter with a unique heritage, most of it lost, and a mother wishes to pass it on to her children, but knows that hurt and pride sometimes stand in the way.

A Picture of My Son with Santa:  Not your typical picture with Santa; he's about 16 years old, in his firefighting gear, posing cheerfully with my ex-husband.  A memoir of joy and sorrow.

A Note from My Husband:  Peace, love, reassurance, and glee.  The memoir of a wife given far more than she deserves.

A Picture of Me:  Drawn by one of our resident artists -- Madison.  I have antennae (sort of "roach-like") that were intended, I believe, to be hair.  I have a sqaure body -- not that far off -- a huge mouth, and a perky little nose. Perky is not one of those words I would use to describe me in any way.  Maddy gave it to me about two months after we met; she was drawing pictures of me every other day back then, but this was one of her first.  This is the memoir of a step-mother, privileged to be in the lives and hearts of three wonderful children, praying for them daily, longing for the weekends when I see them, and loving them for all they're worth.

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