Tag: memorabilia

A Cherished Journal

Life is never appreciated quite so much as when Death comes calling. The same is true of this journal chosen for the 2016 Cherished Blogfest.

As a writer, I have stacks of journals. Finely bound books with gorgeous illustrations…

Journals

Spiral notebooks covered in scrawling ink and lead…

Spiral Notebooks

And then there’s the Cherished Journal.

Cherished Journal

After I wrote in in the other night, I realized there were only five empty pages waiting to be filled.

Tears puddled. I flipped to the first page, lovingly inscribed by my mother. She purchased it during a ladies’ retreat with a group of women from church.

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Years from now, when I’ve forgotten what the lessons were about that October in Seaside, Oregon, this note from my mom will crackle like a fire in my heart.

Because three short months after she wrote those words, my mom graduated from this earthly plain. Now she waits in Heaven to impart more encouraging words – someday – when I have moved past this life.

This made me think, not for the first time, how neglectful we are of the people in our lives. People we love tend to see the worst from us. We pick up the phone and vent at them when a day turns mean.

How many times have I snapped at my husband because something or someone else hurt or irritated me? Too many to recount. And the thought shames me.

On the other hand, how often have I hugged him and told him what he means to me? Since the day my mother broke the earthly chains, this has happened more frequently.

But less so the further from that painful goodbye I travel.

Do I really need someone dear to me to depart in order to cherish those who remain?

It chills me to think this has become the way of things in my world. Casual words and flippant teasing dominates the conversation. What about meaningful remarks of sincere appreciation?

I hold the cherished journal in my trembling hands. It blurs. The dry ink can’t be touched by my teardrops.

Open Journal

But can my heart? Will I finally learn the lesson this simple gift – now filled with my own thoughts and plans – tries to teach me?

Don’t wait for Death to show you what is truly cherished.

Live today with words and deeds that cherish all those whose presence in your world is a greater gift than any book or heirloom or brightly wrapped parcel.

Who will you cherish today?

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Scrapbooking a Wedding – Part 2 – The Engagement

In the wake of one whirlwind wedding, the memorabilia for another waxed and waned. Without an engagement, there would be no wedding. Right?

Engagements are epic. Entire movies have been plotted around popping the question.

Why was it so difficult to put this spread of pages together?

Call me creatively stifled. Or dumbfounded by the over-abundance of information.

The Plan

Never let it be said that my youngest son doesn’t have a plan.

It may look like haphazard meandering. Especially if you’ve seen how he keeps his clean clothes *frowns*

He had everything set up. Reservations at the restaurant he wanted, buddies lined up to set the proposal site in order.

Even video and photo equipment.

So – he was early for the reservations. Better than late though.

The dinner was excellent. The dessert a delicious “enjoy me later” delicacy from The Cheesecake Factory.

Flower petals were strewn with obvious care in the private glen on campus.

Perfect.

The Photos

Darkness curtained this romantic setting. And someone didn’t have a flash. Or something to add light for the video.

Pictures were taken. Filming progressed.

In the end, the Dark Side prevailed.

The only remaining proof lay in the minds of those in attendance.

It’s pretty hard to use that for scrapbook images.

And then there were two

The all-important question was posed. The lovely girl said, “Yes.”

So they are engaged.

Both of them blogged their side of the story. And posted pictures taken with their camera phones at the restaurant. (One of those moments when a phone that is also a camera is a wonderful thing.)

Those images and recollections are all the fodder I had to make a memorable page layout in their keepsake book.

Thankfully, the weather turned wet. The man worked late.

Messing up the table with all my paper paraphernalia seemed like a profitable use of time.

And the project continues. Now, my creative future daughter is planning on making 200 wedding invitations.

Talk about some scraps for the book…

What Makes a Mother Proud

In accordance with my monthly hobby goal, I’ve spent several hours with pictures, paper and glue since February 1. Leafing through the photos, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia, I did more than walk down memory lane. I renewed my sense of motherly pride.

When I was growing up, I wanted both of my parents to be pleased with me. I spent years following instructions, doing chores diligently, and conforming to their will. Then my dad left. The sky crashed down. Rather than be a casualty, I put up a shell and pushed my mom away.

How many times did I get straight As in school only to hear something like, “But what’s this A- in Geometry”? I could always be pushed harder. Whatever I achieved, it wasn’t the top. There was no basking in one moment before looking for the next mountain to climb.

Mountaindream

I promised I would never do that to my kids.

You know what happens when you say you will never do something? Yep. That despicable thing is the first thing you do. (Never say never is a good policy. Of course, you said never…so)

My oldest son could read in kindergarten. He learned all of his multiplication tables in 2nd grade. He tested in the 97th percentile in math in third grade.  He was an intellectual superstar and he wasn’t too bad at basketball either.

I had high expectations for him. He always met them. I praised him and let him bask in his accomplishments. Of course, I bragged about him until I’m positive people dodged me because they wanted to gag over my motherly enthusiasm.

Life was grand. And then…

My youngest son needed speech therapy in kindergarten. He needed occupational therapy because his handwriting was terrible and he held his pencil wrong (still does, BTW). His fantastic imagination and memory held academic shortfalls at bay in first grade. He didn’t learn how to read until late in his second grade year.

I was no less proud of him than my older son, but I despaired of helping him succeed. Suddenly, I was at the bottom of a steep learning curve.

All of this came back to me as I finished that same boy’s high school scrapbook. Seeing pages upon pages of accomplishments and awards filled my heart to bursting. He came so far. I always knew he would. He exceeded all my expectations.

The older got straight As and the younger carried a B average. “Still above average,” I told my straight-A-over-achieving self. The older was valedictorian of his high school class while the younger was a National Honor Thespian. Scholar athlete versus most improved band member.

What's not to be proud of?
What’s not to be proud of?

Thankfully, I learned not to compare them early on in their lives. They are both extraordinary in their individualism. If they dream it, I believe they will achieve it. That’s not the mother in me talking either.

What makes me proud? Watching my sons grow into men who have convictions and live by them. Seeing them follow their dreams – whether big or small.

Am I proud that the oldest is a college graduate and the youngest made the Dean’s list last term? I’m not going to dignify that with an answer.

Seeing how far they have come gives me hope that they will continue on, surpassing their dad and me.

Isn’t that what all parents dream for their children?