The Memory Boxes

2 06 2008

Recently, I took down all of my memory boxes on my closet shelf.  Many of them had not been opened in years.  Plus, I had a variety of other nostalgia.  My son’s first baby blanket and his very first stuffed animal.  Then there was the baby quilt that Jim’s mother made my son.  Lastly, there was Vera’s stuffed pink panther that she got when she was four years old.  Those were the days when our children only got one gift for their birthday because we were very limited on our finances.  That pink panther was so special to Vera that she told me never to give it away.

Still out of necessity, most all of the toys etc. have long been given away.  However, certain boxes of treasures will never be thrown out.  It was fun to find the letters Jim wrote me when I was on a summer choir tour.  In was early summer and Jim had moved from the dorm into the basement of a couple that he knew.  We were not officially dating yet–but he wrote warm letters of what he was doing. 

Then there were the letters I wrote to him when I went home for spring break in March of 1974.  We were engaged and planning on a May wedding.  I wrote about shopping for clothes with my mother.  I also wrote Jim about how I was addressing the wedding invitations.  I wrote him four times that week.  However, the last letter of the week– I expressed my desires for our marriage to bring glory to God for the rest of our lives. 

I’m going to share that letter with each of you:  ” Darling, It is 4:00 p.m. and I am very lonely for you almost to the point of tears.  It has been a wonderful week–yet because my place is with you–I’ve missed you terribly.

I believe that spiritually and emotionally we are already united.  I feel like God has give me the most wonderful sweetheart. I could never have picked one so suitable.  I’m thankful we have a Heavenly Father who brought us together.

Honey, love just wells up inside of me with the kind of intensity that is very deep.  I know now –more than ever–that to live on this earth without you would be impossible.  This week has been one of real testing–for  I’ve been used to being with you each day.  These 10 days apart have been very difficult.

I know when you receive this letter that I will be there with you once again.  However, I just had to write you again.  I miss you so much!    I love these words from the late Rev. Peter Marshall that he wrote to his future bride. ” Our life together will be a poem ,a song, a monument to love, and a memorial to the Holy Spirit who brought us together…I hope there will never be any real good-byes…God gave you to me and I’ll leave you in His hands. May He keep you always.”

Our love has been tested many times through 34 years of marriage.  Taking a peak at the memories is helpful  to cement the glue of our love.  Also in our letters there was a comical poem I wrote.  This poem was written before we were sweethearts.  However, there is an unusual line in the poem that bears witness to our lives now.  I have a close friend named Susie.  I call her Mary in these blogs.  She came to the Christian Orthodox Faith through our friendship.  Also, Jim’s baptismal name is Herman–after the saint–St. Herman of Alaska.  I had no way of knowing how special these names would be 35 years ago.  However here are some lines I wrote: ” There was a young man named Jim who was very ingenious and smart.  After studying his Greek–he used to swim in the creek.  For He took homeletics (the study of giving sermons) instead of athletics.  In hopes that one day he would preach a sermon to people like Susie and Herman.”

That was an astounding little riddle to find.  Susie is so close to us that we often get irritated with each other.  I have wrongfully given her many sermons and so has Jim.  She is good hearted and forgiving though.  She got a real kick out of that little poem.  And Jim (Herman) has to practice what he preaches to others.  I haven’t read that little ditty since we were engaged.  It got stuck in a box that has rarely been opened.  It is full of all of the letters and art work that we shared when we were friends and then sweethearts.  There is no way I could have ever known that I would have a Susie and a Herman in my life.

There are a few choice letters (including that little poem) that I will put in our lock box.  All of the other memories are now packed in a big rubber bin that will soon go into the attic.  I also kept some special art work from each of my children.  I have placed their art work in a spiral  organizer.  I need to be able to look at these treasures on a regular basis.

Memories can bless or burn a person.  I’m thankful that I have some precious tangible items to remind me of our long journey together as a family.  I hope each of you have some memory boxes to go through, too.

God bless each of you!




7 responses

2 06 2008

This is the first time that I have come across the concept of memory box. As interesting as it sounds, I would never have enough space to store them (if I did have them) 🙂 . But nowadays I seem to store a lot of ‘memory items’ in my computer – I wonder, does that count?

3 06 2008

A memory box is a wonderful idea. I wish I had your forsight. I always keep little things that my son drew for me and now, I keep the special pictures that my grandsons make.
I especially wish that I had started a memory box when my husband and I were married. I know that these little mementos will bring comfort to me some day.
Instead, my husband and I took pitures. After his second divorce, his ex burned all of his pictures and most of his personal things. My ex complained about the cost of developing pictures, so there were very few taken.
When we married, we both became obsessed with pictures. The problem is that they are scattered everywhere. I don’t even know where to look since our move back to the farm…
Memories are the true treasures of life and you are very rich, my friend.
Your friend

5 06 2008

Dear Shadowlands,
There are so many kinds of memory boxes. You are making a type of memory box with your blog. Maybe some day you can find and compile all of your pictures into several albums. I know that will mean a great deal to you.

Your friend,

5 06 2008

That is the wonderful thing about the computer. I have my grandson’s lives in pictures– stored in my computer. Your blog is a type of memory box. But remember the computer wasn’t available when I was dating my husband. We just saved our items in boxes. The same when my children were coming along. I do encourage you to keep a few things that your children do in school. It will mean so much to you when they are grown up.


5 06 2008

Thanks, Honey, for keeping a memory box. It was good to review with everyone what you found. Isn’t God wonderful and full of surprises? Herman

6 06 2008
David Web


It is wonderful that you have those things, and that You & Jim have stuck it out together all these years.

There just doesn’t seem to be a selfish bone in either of your bodies. Your young love letter is very sweet and tender.

Little Brother

Little Brother

6 06 2008

Little Brother,
Oh yes, believe me–we have our selfish times. We have constantly had to work on our marriage. Vera thought the love letter was to mushy to share. She doesn’t like to think of us as that sentimental. Yes, I’m glad that we have managed to save some of the letters from our young love.


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