A Tin Box of Memories .......

20 years or forever ....never forgotten

They sat quietly in the living room speaking softy , often in whispers , on the coffee table between them sat an old tin cracker box its top open . The box was off white with a brown cover and rusting around the rolled seams. the cover itself dented and twisted by years of use . From being stored in closets , in garages and in memories. Each of them , a brother and a sister , picking through photos some of them bent and curled by decades of heat in the summer and cold from bitter winters that had passed. Old photos , black and white for the most part , bringing bitter sweet memories to each of them. Occasionally one would release a chuckle over some memory or a tear might run down their cheek in recall . They spent hours there.........

When death happens , no matter the circumstances , there is never an easy way to deal with the aftermath. No matter how any loved one dies , there are never easy answers nor are there easy ways of finding closure . Closure ? The word is a new one in our culture , that is , when used to describe how we deal emotionally with the severance of human ties. And be those ties family , friend distant relative or stranger . Each and every time it happens , someone has to go through the tin boxes to decide what remains or what is thrown to the pile of forgotten lifetimes.

Each of us , after a death especially in our family , has to find our own way of resolving our issues with that loss. Someone , or in some cases everyone who loved the one who passed has to find a place of silence and hopefully serenity , to open the cover on the box and deal with things that might or might not be forgotten in time , but for the need to hold on to memories. To honor a life and to carry on the traditions of family , of friend of love.

I had walked into that room where the two siblings sat , each oblivious to my entering, each with a chosen pile of photos in front of them . And in recall , I slowly turned to my Father sitting quietly at the dining room table drinking a cup of coffee and staring at the floor. We all had been dealing with the loss of our mother , our fathers wife of almost fifty years, and in our own ways after a few days of trying to adjust emotionally to a new and emptier world , I felt a sense of transferred humility for my Father . Him , sitting quietly while small bits and pieces of a lifetime and of a love time dissolved before him . I felt ashamed of my brother and sister , I felt betrayed somehow emotionally, and yet , in some way I understood .

Some people need more than others , pictures , jewelry , a locket or a house , home or a ranch , some vast estate to pick quietly over and through , to pull chosen pieces of that lost love out of a tin box , or even to sit in a room full of barracuda attorneys as a will worth some huge amount of monetary value is sorted through by someone in reading glasses. For me , I will take my memories , my visions and dreams of the past, my failures and my emotions. I will take only the fabric of who I am away from that loss . Because , everything else is just stuff. . I also recall choosing to turn away rather than having an encounter that could only have driven a wedge between us , further separating the remaining siblings of a large family. And now , I know I did the right thing , because you see ! At the remains of the day , when the parents are gone from our world , those left behind grow naturally more distant anyway. from each other leaving only the memories of a past and in some ways .........an empty tin box.

For my parents , I am everything good that you have taught me , and I am sometimes less too , But I am never without the memories of our life time together , together as one , in that old farm house seemingly on the edge of everything , all the good , and even the not so good , and when I think of how we lived , sometimes too near edge of the promises , the edge of dreams , I see an old black and white photo just a little bit faded , curled and cracked , and in that photo I see a family at a home on the edge of the river on the edge of love , hope faith and fate . For now though life goes on ! And those memories and photographs , both real and remember only , go back into that old tin box with the rust on the hinges and a bent and twisted cover . And as well, into the shady corners of eternal memory Until all of it fades to some place unknown , where there is only the echoed memory of sounds of a white water river and the wind in the pine trees , and you , my beloved family. Our Mom , our Dad , rest now ,, in peace in love and in memory .

So ....Until we meet again.......

Comments 21 comments

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

Beautiful my Horseback riding friend. Such a lovely tribute to your parents. I guess that since the holidays are coming up you miss them even more.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Hello Cardisa ! Nice to see you , I do and as I age I appreciate even the harder expeeriences of our lives ! I am a lucky man , and a humble one ......And you are a wise woman!......Hugs...:-}


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Dear Horseback what a lovely hub in honor of your parents. I truly feel the love and respect you had and still do for them. I am sure they are looking at you with a big smile upon their heart saying.."WE DID GOOD!!"

Thank you so much for sharing this..You are truly a good son..

Love,

Sunnie


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Sunnie , Hi ! Its funny how little things come to mind , and how we put them to words!Thank you !.....:-}


femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

ahorseback - you just keep on amazing me. This one is too pretty to describe, and encapsulates soooo much for so many!

When I look in the mirror, I see a good blend of both my parents. But, when my sister speaks, I hear our mother's voice, and when my fingers lay across piano keys, I see her hands blend with my own.

You are so right. I love photos, but I would rather have what I have, and see what I see in my sibling, my nephew and myself than what I might find in a cracker tin any day. :)


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

This brought a tear to my eyee, it also brought a smile. Such a gentle serene piece. You have a tender heart and they must be so proud of you. Hold onto those cherished memories my friend, you will meet again one day

Blessings and hugs.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Femmeflash, Thank you for reading , and yes, you got it ! Our memories are the best part .I Don't know about you but selective memories are a great thing ....lol....:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Rosemay , Stick whith the smile ,it looks much nicer on you ! Thank you for sharing this....:-}


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

Beautiful.

Very touching. One thing I like about good memories is that no one can take them from you. They are your Treasure.

Thanks...


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Lady E You have spoken something soo true ! We can even bend and twist them slightly to our liking !.........Thank you for stopping by...:-}


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

While reading this heartfelt piece, i couldn't keep from reflecting back, missing the loved ones in my life who have gone on to be with God. Going through my Sister's pictures, finding happy times, letters, even poetry that i had never seen. She left me her home and beautiful memories. The home is just a house, the memories are the treasure. Thank you my friend. I loved this...


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Always , she must have very special to you ! We are lucky to be able to remember Too! I am glad I triggered a fine memory , and I have figured its all okay to forget the bad stuff all together.....:-} Thank you.


daddysgirl 5 years ago

I feel the same way dad! I see this often in my profession too. Sometimes greed overtakes man, but I agree too that some just need more to hold onto. I think too that sometimes we don't cope due to guilt as well. I love this short story along with all the others. Love and hugs!!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

And you know time eraces any and all bad memories if we allow it. Thank you my friend...


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Daddys girl , YOU ARE ! Thanks sweety , These words just wont stop ! lol....oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo;-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Always , Yes , I said earlier we can also bend and tweek them a little for our own sanity!....lol...:-} Thank you for sharing. Isn't that great!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

A sincere thank you from me for sharing these precious thoughts and memories. Best wishes MM


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Hey Movie master , thank you for sharing as always....:-}


Majadez profile image

Majadez 5 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

Very beuatifully written. I love your definition of closure (used to "describe how we deal emotionally with the severance of human ties"). That one will definately stick with me. I never thought about it much before but that is exactly what it is.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Majadez, thank you , from where this stuff comes ,I dont know..lol....:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Majadez, thank you , from where this stuff comes ,I dont know..lol....:-}

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