In my linen closet sits a twenty-something-year-old box. It’s traveled with me from Louisiana to southern Indiana to Syracuse, NY to its current home in DC. I made the box during my junior high years. The magazine cutouts that I pasted to the box are still firmly attached–even with all its moves. Most surprisingly is that the main photo of the woman and “Oooh!” still resonates with me. Sensuality and self-care are still important to me.
Inside this well-loved and well-traveled box are letters, postcards and even two journals. The last time I recall opening the box was before I became a mother–almost 10 years ago. I’m pretty sure I’ve opened it a few times in the past 10 years. There’s birthday cards and letters etched with my husband’s handwriting, written during the long distance phases of our dating years. There’s several postcards in my sister’s neat hand, stamped with “Air Mail” and postmarked in various Japanese cities.
I’m not far removed enough from these communiques to reread them with the care they deserve. I’m still embarrassed by half the things I wrote in those journals. My angst was on “repeat all” during high school.
While I’m not ready to read these notes again, I’m keeping them. For how long? Who knows. They’ll move with me to our next home, whenever and wherever that may be. I’ll keep them for when my kids are older and I can share these artifacts of their parents’ courtship.
Will my kids be interested in this old box full of notes, postcards, and angsty journals? With the popularity of “instant” communication via text, Facebook messaging, and email; I can’t bear to give up this heavy box full of physical manifestations of our family’s love for each other.
My sister’s cheery notes from her time in Japan. The envelopes my husband addressed as Mrs. Thien-Kim (before we were married). I’m glad I have them, safe and sound in this special box.
Have you saved your old letters and journals?
This post was inspired by The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy, a novel about two women are connected by an Underground Railroad doll. Join From Left to Write on May 19th as we discuss The Mapmaker’s Children. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links.