When I remember my mom, I recall so many happy and good times. She was a baker and giver of cakes, breads, and cookies. She was known and loved for cards she sent, buying them long before a celebration happened. Her gardens, flowers and yards felt just like a park. A sense of calm reigned in her peaceful landscaping. My mom had a natural sense of humor and a spark of whimsy. I loved her creations that she sewed together to make nonsensical hearts or dolls. She made Tiff, our dog, beautiful coats to keep her warm on her winter walks. Tiff loved those coats and didn't want me to take them off of her when we came back in from a brisk, cold walk outdoors. She was a quiet woman, with a gentle spirit. She loved us and found the way to love us like she wanted to without drawing the attention or ire of my father too many times, because he didn't want her attention to be drawn to anyone else but him. In her life she had given me her love and anything else she had to give materially wasn't a great concern to me because she had given and loved us to the best of her ability in a horrible situation and when she was caught or suspected of treating me like a beloved child, she incurred the attention of a cold hearted, mean spirited man.
So then came the boxes. The first I heard of these boxes was from Roy who had been left a phone message from my father and maybe then contacted by my brother. I could not imagine what these boxes would contain because when my parents moved to Georgetown, I had gone through all my childhood boxes and discarded or given away most everything. After my mother passed away and when my father was still talking to me, he had given me "her things and her treasured possessions." He had gone through her closet and drawers and in two weeks after her death everything was gone to Salvation Army So, I was puzzled at the contents of 6-8 boxes...for me. Roy and I talked about them, the logistics of getting them, the emotional toll, the danger of them and came to the conclusion, we didn't want them. He could give them to Salvation Army like he threatened. And I thought, that is that. Until a couple of weeks ago when the last person in my father's posse volunteered to deliver them to me. We met yesterday at West Oaks Mall. The thought crossed my mind, will we attract attention with moving boxes from a BMW into Sequishia? Apparently not because I saw two other instances of boxes being moved from car to car in the parking lot.
So the boxes came home and oh the memories these boxes contain....a nylon belt/clasp from a camera bag, a blue belt, packages of elastic, Velcro, knee patches for worn out jeans, used up Glade candles, batting for quilts, pieces of felt, and embroidery thread that disintegrated by being touched. Oh but there is more memories in those eight boxes, florist vases, Christmas seals from 2005, Christmas gift tags, gift bags, a pillow with all the stuffing coming out, empty jewelry boxes with the cotton torn apart, a large piece of coarse fabric, a pin cushion, and an old trim line phone with the ear piece crusted over in ear wax. Oh the joy and happiness that I felt going through the boxes and dumping everything straight into the trash can. Bug infested tablecloths and napkins and Christmas mugs encrusted with bug feces...all into the trash. Cards sent by us and Doug's family....thrown away...they gone. And who couldn't use another tote bag from trade shows? Well, me...disposed of. Most everything in those boxes that made the long journey to our home, had a short journey into the garbage can. Three pound weights and wrist sweatbands...boom! Gone! At the end all that remains with me is, copies of birth certificates, immunization records, my mother's SS card, their wedding license, my mother's baptism certificate,a few pictures, three Christmas glasses, two salad bowls, and a swan planter in a pear tree. I saved for Erin the Barbie bed made by my mom complete with comforter, sheets, pillows and cardboard constructed bed frame and for my brother, his boy doll from Aunt Goldie and a stuffed animal from childhood.
Now you might be asking, why did you accept the boxes? Well, my father's friend mentioned the decorative plates that had been my Grandma B's and had been passed down to my mom and promised to me. My father told her they were in the boxes. Just these plates from the dime store that my grandmother had worked at, bringing home a little bit of extra money for the family in bleak times. Her splurge was to buy a nickel or dime priced plate every month. I think my mother liked them because it was a bright and treasured memory of her mother trying to do something special for her much loved only daughter. That was the hook. I had forgotten about those plates that graced the walls in my parent's home. And there you have it, I took the bait. The only possessions that would entice my interest.
Yesterday afternoon, it broke me. These boxes along with the conversations in the past weeks with this friend of my father's, who told me things I already knew and heard from my father. But, it was the cold blooded way he told this friend, how he had connived, planned and put into motion his plan to kill my spirit and ruin me for anything else but to be of service to him. This plan went into place when I turned five. I cried and I was angry yesterday. Not angry at my father because he is being consistent in who he has been and ever more will continue to be. I am angry at myself for being swayed by those plates...plates I haven't seen in years, plates I had not remembered in the recent past and that had been promised to me by my mother. Those boxes full of trash, leftovers and unwanted things are just a reminder that this has been and ever more continue to be my father's heart toward me. I have pretty much insulated myself from experiencing those reminders throughout the years but I walked right into the trap set for me. I'm thinking of so many Psalms written by David concerning Saul's deadly intent and pursuit of him and finding great comfort and solace in God's Word.
Today, I am experiencing those compassions and new mercies that are new every morning. I am grateful and thankful for a wonderful, loving husband and he even brought me home a piece of coconut cake to cheer me up last night. I am grateful for encouraging friends who have spoken words of healing into my life in the past but most especially yesterday. Dang it, we will have a beautiful home in God's country! I'm going to go all Ellie Mae Clampett on you and say Whooooo Doggies! The Lord is good!!! He restores the years that the locust devoured. He restores my soul. In spite of my earthly father and in spite of all the years it took for me to finally trust Him as a good Father, God is more than enough and better than any earthly father, even those really good earthly fathers. I will ever be grateful and thankful for Cheryl Simmons, the best therapist ever, who taught me the ways and tools to stay out of the pit. She saved my life!
One of the best things that Cheryl ever taught me was, "Isn't that great!" as a response to irrational and angry accusations...I was remiss in remembering to use that phrase....
Others-we have boxes for you from your father.
Me- Isn't that great that he has boxed everything up? Isn't that great it is all ready to go to Salvation Army?
There will not be a next time, but I will remember next time. Isn't that great!