3.28.2010

treasure chest

My mom and I moved out of my grandma and Papa's house when I was 8.
Shortly after I turned 11, we moved to a new city.

Whenever we went back to visit my grandparents, I would steal something.

A pen. A rubberband. A duck coaster.

A tiny piece of the place I couldn't be.

I would take these things home with me in my pocket and when I was alone in my room I would take them out and hold them and cry.

...

Today Clark found a funny harvest-themed tin in my things. He brought it to me and called it his treasure chest. Inside was wallpaper. Old wallpaper. I took it out and unfolded it. I smiled when I saw it because I knew just what it was.

I was probably six when Papa started stripping the wallpaper in the dining room. I was so distressed that I kept some of it and I made my mom buy me a tin where I could keep it. I folded the old wallpaper up all teary-eyed like and placed it inside, to keep. You know, FOREVER. I guess I was a sentimental child.

When I held that wallpaper this afternoon I felt like I had been keeping it in my pocket for twenty years.

A tiny piece of a place I cannot be.

And it isn't three hours away, it is decades gone and only a handful of people even have the memory that it existed.

I have the memory. And I have the wallpaper.

15 comments:

  1. I was a sentimental one also... I have little boxes still filled with remnants of childhood.
    Hang on to them.
    This was a lovely read...

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  2. Ohhh...I was a sentimental little girl as well. When I was about 13 we moved and some of the boxes containing my "treasures"--mementos I'd been saving since I could remember--were lost. That is still painful to me, especially since my mom's gone now and some of the memories were ones only she and I shared. I'm so glad you got that little piece of your past back.

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  3. That was a very nice read :) I was, and am, still very sentimental too :) I remember when we moved from our house on "F" Street (where I lived when I went to Handley) and I went back to visit an old neighbor friend and we walked around the block by my old house, I "stole" a few rocks from the landscaping. It made me feel good to have a piece of my old home, even if it was something as silly as a rock. Not sure whatever happened to the rocks, but at the time, it was comforting :)

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  4. There are little things, like your wall paper, I cannot bear to part with. They are tucked away in my dresser drawer. I don't look at them often; I just want to know that they are there. That my childhood, because specifics slip my mind, is safely nestled in my bedroom whenever I want to recall it. I understand.
    I want to be there sometimes, too. I don't know if I was ready to leave either.

    Beautiful sentiments.

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  5. This was lovely. And sad. I was much more sentimental the older I got, strangely.

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  6. I love this story, and even more so, how you tell it.

    elizabeth

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  7. I understand this in ways which run so deep, they can't be explained any better than how you just explained them.

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  8. You've got me all teary eyed. I was quite the sentimental little girl too. Sigh. It's so bittersweet to find the quirky things that meant so much and often still do.

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  9. This was so beautiful. I'm amazed at your thoughtfulness as a little girl. How sweet and sentimental to hang onto those pieces of your family's past. So heartwarming, thank you.

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  10. Ohhhh you! You, you... you beautiful, incredible person you!

    Nell
    {janelle}

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  11. awww. That's ridiculously sweet. I'm not really sentimental when it comes to things. I think it comes from living with a mom who was a total hoarder. I feel the need to rid myself of everything that's not absolutely necessary. Hence me cleaning out the kids toys & clothes constantly

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  12. What a lovely post. I am right there with you.
    You write so well. I love reading about your memories, they make me think of my own grandparents and the little things I used to take home and treasure.
    Thanks for bringing a smile to my face and a tear to my eye.

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  13. so beautiful. I could cry thinking of all the treasures I loved in my grandparents' old home. I spent so much time there as a little girl, and I miss my grandpa so much.

    you have a new reader in me! :)

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