Monday, July 30, 2012

Keeping the Keepsakes

I've been in a closet-cleaning mood for a few days now, going through plastic bins and seeing what's inside, hoping to clear any clutter and find a little more space. Progress is being made, but I get so distracted when strolling down Memory Lane. I love discovering things I forgot I kept.

Most of the things bring a smilelike my picture from the first grade and oodles of my school work. Other things, however, leave me sighing and feeling sad. So many of my "treasures" remind me of what was lost after divorce storms came ashore.

First was my sister's divorce, after 26 years of marriage—another blog for another day. And then came my own in 2002.

Some ex-wives might have pitched any reminders by now, but the way I see it, these tangible pieces are part of who I am. Good, bad or ugly, they help tell the story of me: A girl named Gayle, who married a guy named Charles in 1982.

The wedding plans are written neatly on lined paper of white. The venue. The music. The guest list. The gift list.  Shower pics. Wedding pics. Honeymoon pics. Our first bank statement as husband and wife. Our first grocery list.

Further down in the stack are basal body temperature charts I painstakingly maintained, hoping to conceive. A list of baby names is close by.

Further down is the baby announcement, heralding the good news, along with piles, and piles, and PILES of greeting cards from family and friends, wishing us well with our new baby girl.

From there, the years rushed by, and the stash of treasures grew.

One bin. Two bins. Three bins. Four.

Part of me feels silly keeping the keepsakes, year, after year, after year. But another part of me—the schmaltzy part, I guess—hopes future generations will care enough to rummage through it all one day and discover things they never knew...about a girl named Gayle, who married a guy named Charles in 1982. ♦

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Helping Others Helps You

Recently, I had the opportunity to help someone financially. It wasn't much, but as she thanked me profusely, I told her that my gift to her would be a blessing to me in the end. And, just as I expected, it was. This week I received an "out of the blue" check in the mail, worth three times what I had given to my friend.

You really can't outgive God. Find someone in need today, and see for yourself. ♦

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over." - Luke 6:38

I'm linking to Spiritual Sundays, where faith lifts are free.