Saturday, June 5, 2010

Precious Scraps of Paper

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.



-Erma Bombeck

6 comments:

Mackenzie's Mommy said...

That brings tears to my eyes. What a treat to know your father carried that reminder of Meredith with him. I know the pain my father feels over losing his granddaughter, and I'm sorry your dad had to feel the same. xoxo

kathy said...

SWEET SORROW...I'VE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THOSE TWO WORDS TOGETHER UNTIL NOW. TWO SWEET BABIES AND THE SORROW OF LOSING THEM. THANK YOU FOR SHARING.
YOUR PATENTS WENT WELL TOGETHER, I WONDER IF THEY KNEW ABOUT THE RECEIPT'S THEY BOTH CARRIED?

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Sarita, what an amazing story. I can't help but think Meredith and your sister know each other in Heaven. Love, Twyla

croleyc69 said...

What a awesome story. My losses were miscarriages but I only had 2 ultrasound pictures of my little boy and I kept all the papers from my D & C and my hospital bill as that's all I ever got to have of a much wanted life. I can remember my parents had a family bible and they would keep lots of things in there. Thanx for sharing that really neat story.

Caroline

Holly said...

Oh wow, Sarita. That is so touching and sad at the same time too.

Just Breathe said...

Those are very special items to find and just knowing that they carried those with them just brings me to tears. ((HUGS))

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