But I chose a different path. I will still be in my closet but there are more things just under the surface that are more important.
The things that make me keep my closet locked, at least my emotional one.
1. The bag of my mother’s clothes she wore to the hospital the last time. I remember her wearing them, and me putting them in the bag when she got so sick. I remember trying to fold it all neatly so it wasn’t wrinkled when she got to put them back on to come home. I recall the trip to the doctor as we talked about Christmas and all the presents she still had to wrap, how she didn’t have time to be sick. I remember her trying to get me to take her home before the hospital from the doctor’s office so she could do a few things, and how I shook my head and insisted she go now, so she could get better, and come home. How it would all be there when she returned, after all it was only a few days. How a few days turned into 23. How she would never put her clothes back on, or finish wrapping gifts. How walking into her house when I realized that, I saw it all on the table and cried. How I took that bag of clothes back to her house from the hospital. Holding back the pain and the reality of the finalness of that act. Looking through her closet for something pretty to put on her for her funeral.How the bag got moved to corners as we went through her house months later. Everyone wanting to forget what it contained, until the one day I went to get something in particular. I found it in the corner. Her shirt on top. I picked it up and put it to my face and crumpled to the floor, her perfume still heavy on the clothes. How, even now , over a year has passed and her smell still lingers. How I have been known to sneak to my closet and take the clothes out, because I worry I will forget what she smelled like and that thought terrifies me.
2. The baby pillow for my middle son, that looked like a birth certificate. How we never saw them after we had him so he is the only one who got one. The letters written in permanent marker blurred and running because when he was hospitalized with chicken pox and RSV I cried into the pillow. It was made like a birth announcement. We filled in all the information. How I cried even more when I realized my tears had made the ink run to something almost illegible and no way to replace it.
3. The teddy bear from my middle son’s hospitalization for chicken pox. The names of any person who worked with him, visited him, had anything to do with his recovery forever saved on this simple small children’s toy. How ,now, nearly 14 years later I can read what they wrote and remember their faces. At one point our fear was he would not make it and this would be our reminder of all he went through. That moment making me fully aware of how dangerous chicken pox could be.
4. A first place trophy half my height I won in a talent show. For me to stand up and sing in front of a park full of strangers.. yeah miracle in and of itself. To win.. and even bigger one..
5. Old Quilts. They were made by my mom and grandmother. Old scraps from the sewing factory my mom worked at for years. She and her mom pieced them together to make these quilts that are the warmest blankets I will ever own. They need some mending so I keep them put up, away from grubby boy hands that do not recognize the worth of their beauty.
6.Shoes. Lots of them. Surprisingly, I was the only child who could wear the same size shoe as mom, so guess who got lots of her shoes.. this girl
7. Photo albums. I am a picture taking fool, if you haven’t guessed by this blog. I take my camera everywhere.
8. Clothes.. duhhh
9. Extra pillows.. Because I have a thing for one of my pillows having to be feather But the other pillow I switch out because I have a weird sleeping position so I switch the other pillow out to keep from getting sunk spots in them. Some times I want a fluffy squishable one and other times I want my bottom pillow to be firmer. So we keep extras.
10.Old journals. This blog is simply an extension of those. Instead of paper and spiral bound notebooks I use the keyboard and a web page. But there are things that don’t come here. Too raw, too painful, too something to put out for everyone’s eyes. Someday maybe, but those things are in my closet where they are safe from prying eyes and judging persons. I judge myself enough I don’t need someone else who is just as burdened as me doing it as well.