While this picture from the sixth day of the seven-day Facebook black and white photo challenge may not seem like much, it actually is the picture that says the most and means the most, at least, to me. That may explain why I am having such a difficult time choosing the words to tell the rest of this story.
This is a dresser that sits in my closet. My now ex-husband and I bought it unfinished at a consignment shop when we were first married. We could not afford much, but we could afford this, and he was able to sand it and finish it. It holds some of my personal belongings, such as socks, sports bras, leggings, and bandanas. What is inside this nondescript dresser is not what makes it special to me. It’s what is on top of it that does.
The small unfinished wooden box in the forefront is one that I assembled and sanded when I was hospitalized for depression the summer following my freshman year of college. Somewhere along the way, someone decided that arts and crafts would be part of my therapy, but there was only one problem. I am not artsy or crafty. So, while other people made elaborate jewelry boxes, I made this plain simple one. It is fitting of me, as it is not much to look at on the outside, but the inside is resplendent with some pieces of pretty jewelry. It serves as a reminder of a time that I emerged from the darkness. . . carrying a jewelry box.
The picture of the dashing couple behind that jewelry box is the only picture of my paternal grandparents together that I ever have seen. My paternal grandfather died of ALS when my father was only two years old, and my paternal grandmother died in 2015. While I never knew him, I always have felt an unexplainable connection to him and been fascinated by him, despite knowing very little about him. My grandmother meant the world to me, so much so, that I named my daughters after her. My oldest daughter shares her first name, and my youngest daughter shares her middle name. Every time I look at their picture, I am reminded that we share a common bond that not even death can break.
The picture of the little girl is actually me. I think I may be four years old in that photo, and I always have been touched by the innocence that it conveys. Sometimes, I do not even recognize her any more, and other times, I feel her presence acutely. I love that little girl, and I miss her.
While it is obscured, one of my most prized possessions is in the small round ceramic dish in the upper right-hand corner of the dresser. There is a white plastic bracelet that says Today We Fight in pink lettering. When my sweet friend’s breast cancer progressed, I joined her family and friends in wearing this bracelet to show our support and love for her. It took me a very long time after her death to take it off, because doing so made it all too real. I think of her every day, and I sometimes run my fingers over the lettering to soothe myself or to conjure up some much-needed strength and courage.
My daughters made me the ceramic heart-shaped container and the small ceramic jar. They made these when they were little girls, and they are truly priceless. I smile just looking at their creations, because they were made with genuine love and joy.
These are just some of the items that can be found atop my dresser, and these are the stories behind them. Everyone has a story to tell, and everything has a story connected with it. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but those thousand words are sometimes needed to provide a complete picture.
Categories: Picture This