A Day Etched into My Memories

I’d like to tell you about an event in my childhood…an event that to this day hurts the little girl in me.

I only had one living grandmother and I got to see her once a year when we traveled several hundred miles to my birthplace. I can still see her sitting room in the very old Georgia home. My two cousins had come to play with their 8 year old Florida cousin. Next to the door leading to the kitchen was a very old trunk. My memory of the size of the trunk is probably much larger than reality. Years do that to us!

You can imagine my absolute glee when she looked at us and said, “Let’s open this up.” Oh…still my little beating heart…there were buttons, laces, ribbons, fabric scraps, embroidery threads, scissors (the little gold antique ones). I literally was spinning with delight. Can you “see” it with me?!!

Then, the room froze for me when I heard my grandmother call my cousins’ names and say, “You can make anything you want. Ruth, you can only watch. Don’t touch anything.” I had been taught to obey adults, so I stood there and watched for what seemed like an eternity.

I had a very wise mother. As soon as we traveled home, my mother found a box and painted it. She then filled it with everything a creative little girl could use in my artistic endeavors. Years later, I did the same thing for our two children. In fact, their button collection was so large, we used it to learn colors and learn math! I continue to have boxes filled with treasures for my pre-K class in school.

That day? Yep, still hurts the little girl in me. But the adult me chose to turn it into a memory with purpose.

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