Elizabeth Willis Barrett
I watched it go gliding in its blue refinery in the back of the trailer and something happened to me. Tears welled and my heart swelled. That was the rocking chair Brad got me for Mothers Day in 1999–the year I became a Grandmother. It was a gift to rock my babies in and it was used and used until the cushions were as depleted as an airless balloon, but its gentle gliding motion never gave up on me. It was a piece of my life moving on to make room for new and more serviceable things–like two heavy duty leather swivel rockers that also recline.
I’m not sure why I got so sentimental in that moment but I just stood watching as the trailer pulled away and the feeling overwhelmed me. I have often been attacked by that nostalgic poignant feeling that is indescribable and, thankfully, usually fleeting.
That wasn’t the only treasure being pulled away from my life. My mom’s folding wood table that had seen dinners and lunches for decades was keeping company with the chair. It was too rickety for daily wear and would need more TLC than I have in me. But to see it, too, riding down the street like a sovereign going to a guillotine was a little disheartening.
Bits and pieces of our lives are represented by things–just ordinary things, but they hold such meaning and memory. Do you think when we get to heaven and review our life’s work, that we could enjoy some of those things again?–those things that meant so much in their short allotted time? The ballerina doll that could bend at the ankles so she could dance on her toes? The yellow metal box that I used to keep crayons (pronounced “crens”) in? The bracelet that Mom bought me for no reason at all?
Some things seem to have spirits. They reach out and prompt us of times long past. They pull at our heartstrings and remind us that life has had many moments of joy and glory.
When I get very, very old, please don’t take all my possessions away. Let me hold on to them and savor their memories until I, too, glide on to other things.