Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Maternal Musings

Today, in a sunlit spare room upstairs, I spent an extraordinary afternoon with the contents of small ordinary looking box.
In a corner of that room, lie two very large rubbermaid totes filled with memories of my mother.  
Totes filled with precious personal things too sacred to discard -- things that need to find a new home somewhere and which by some nebulous design, became the assignment of this first born daughter. 
So ill-suited to the task.
I wondered if today would be the day.  

In one entire afternoon, I managed to rifle through just that one little shoebox sized container, discovering (among other treasures) this well-preserved professional portrait taken in the late 1940's in Rotterdam.  
That's my mother in the middle - parked between her parents and brothers.  
The lighting is perfect and the pixels so crisp I can almost see the colour green of her eyes.  
And then it struck me.  How surreal this moment was! 
....to finally begin the process of picking through my mom's things and 'randomly' start with a box that she had, as first born daughter, kept of her own mother's memories...
The newspaper obituary, the funeral service program, old family photos, hand-written letters & cards of condolence from her church family and abroad...  
All perfectly preserved and protected for the sake of posterity - for such a time as this? 
I am oddly without words sufficient to describe the feeling of this experience. 
At once tingling the spine & nourishing the soul.