My dad kept a magic box filled with memories from his life. He rarely opened it; I didn’t have a chance to really look through it until after his death. I’ve kept the contents undisturbed, looking through them whenever I felt myself missing him.
The inner dialogue with my future self caused me to realize that his memory should be cherished, honored in some way so that I could have him close by. I’ve always admired homes with their memories displayed; they seemed to hold a window into the soul of the person who displayed them yet I’d not gathered the courage to do the same.
I’ve decided to change that.
I gathered up the small collection of photo frames I’d used to display pithy sayings and decided to put them to a real use. Instead of simple decorations, they are now a window to my past. I may not be ready to truly decorate until the kid moves out and I properly rearrange things but it would be a start.
The first thing I did was decide to honor my dad.
I opened his box, admiring the photos he’d collected back during his Army days, selected some from his Airborne training in Fort Benning, Georgia and mounted them near my bed. I didn’t have enough frames (or the proper size) but I had enough for a small start. I’ll add more photos to the montage as money allows.
It will take a bit of time to get the placement absolutely correct; I’ll doubtless move them once the kid moves out and I rearrange but for now I can snuggle up at night with him close.
Dad would probably shake his head at my sentimentality.
In time I intend to dig through my memories and fill this old house. I want to honor the past even as I focus on the future. We can’t know where we’re going unless we remember where we’ve been.
Have you ever honored the memory of the past in a similar manner? Please share your stories in the comments below.