Daddy passed away in 1991, and Mother went to meet him in Heaven in 2003. Mother and Daddy went through the Depression, war years, and other hard times. My Daddy's father was struck by lightning and killed in 1921, along with the family horse he was using to plow a field. Daddy was seven years old and had three siblings. My grandmother buried her husband and several months later, buried her three year old son. How they survived, I don't really know as Daddy didn't talk about it much. Because of all the struggles they had, my parents saved everything in case something would be needed some day. And I mean EVERYTHING. After Mother's death, my brother put her and Daddy's things in storage until we could go through it all. There was no way we could hurt our hearts even more by going through the items right then. Over the months and years, he has brought me a few boxes at a time so I could sift through the memories of a marriage that began in 1933. I have found all kinds of ephemera - cancelled checks, receipts, greeting cards, planting guides, newspapers, just to name a few. I have found sewing items, depression glass, milkglass, baby shoes - I couldn't begin to name the items I have discovered. If my parents broke down and used a new wallet or purse, the items in the purse or wallet stayed inside the old one, except for essentials like driver's licenses or money. About a month ago, my daughters were helping me look through the most recently acquired boxes. One of them pulled out Daddy's last billfold. She looked through it and found photos of all his grandchildren, travel club cards, and a receipt, among others. She unfolded it and we were speechless as she read from it. Then I had to cry. When Meredith died, our church gave us a donation to pay for her funeral. Daddy offered to pay for the burial. He had carried that $50.00 receipt from October 8, 1974, for Meredith's burial all those years. Fifteen minutes later, I opened an old purse of Mother's and found the cancelled check she had made out to a hospital on October 14, 1941. It was written for around $85.00, and was for her stay in the hospital when my sister, Janet Susan, was stillborn on October 7. Two receipts, two lost babies. We never got to hold ours, and I doubt Mother and Daddy even saw their baby. Two pieces of paper, representing many broken hearts.
You were our first miracle.
You were the genesis of a marriage,
the fulfillment of love,
the promise of our infinity...
You were the beginning.