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A Shinning Memory Visible in a Tarnished Ornament

Updated on October 17, 2014

Precious Things

Tucked away in the dark dusty corner of the garage, hidden behind and under other carefully placed boxes sits a closed container invisible to incoming visitors. Always in the dark the contents seen to be forgotten, a point of time locked within its walls. Outside of the container, the accumulated dusk is the only indicator of time as it is measured by the dawns and dusks of days turning into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. The contents are wrapped, boxed or just laid in place waiting for an occasion that prompts their unpacking. The occasion must be one of great merriment because these contents sparkled, glistened and were a brilliance of splendid colors when first stuffed inside and no longer exposed to the outside world. If only they could show their splendor they were meant to show. Packed away when they need to be hung and placed with great care, they wait. This is the destiny of these seasonal treasures. How do these treasures survive this confinement? Will they maintain their brilliance?

Damaged Goods

All our precious things do not always tolerate their surroundings and suffer damage. One such ornament is a picture of my youngest child taken by her Sunday school teacher and placed in a bright shiny gold wreath shaped ornament. The shine has now tarnished due to exposure and dampness. The picture taken as a Polaroid has faded and is barely recognizable to only me and maybe family members. What appears to be protected and safe as time passes does in fact fade and lose it’s glitter in the a world measured by age. But, the brilliance can still and always be seen in the eye of the beholder. A memory can hold on to the glitter, brilliance and splendor when time can no longer hold things pristine.

Precious Memories

The contents of my memory are like the boxed items in the dark corner of the garage. They were kept wrapped in love waiting for an occasion that prompts their sharing. I didn’t always see the sparkle, glitter and shining that was always there for the noticing. I try now to do better at paying attention. We have a measure of time. Our life is marked by dawns and dusks as days turn into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. And, all too often we just let it pass not choosing to pay greater attention to minor happenings. A collection of items in my surroundings that at one time were used and at times seemed to be just ordinary useful or needed items has now become memorabilia. Preserved in my memory of a devoted husband and father lost is a wealth of remembrances that are invisible to others until doled out. For a long time, sharing materialized itself as sorrow of a treasure lost. The ultimate loss was not always seeing the sparkle, glitter and shining knowing time does not stand still but passes quickly.

On this day is a celebration of the memories and the memorabilia (my ornaments) that have become priceless treasures to me. I can sit here and picture the precious ornaments not piled away in a buried box in the corner of the garage, but here in the house where they physically remain along with the memories held in my heart and stored in my mind.

Song Lyrics "Watch What Happens"

“Cold, no I cant believe your heart is cold
Maybe slow to warm from a long, lonely night

But just let someone start believing in you,
let him hold out his hand
Let him touch you and watch what happens

One someone who can look in your eyes,
and see into your heart
Let him find you and watch what happens

Cold, no I won't believe your heart is cold
Maybe just afraid to be broken again

But just let someone with a deep love to give
Give that deep love to you,
And what magic you'll see

Let someone give his heart,
Someone who cares like me
Let someone give his heart who cares like me
Someone who cares like me

And what magic you'll see
Let someone give his heart,
Someone who cares like me
Someone who cares like me”

I Loved What Happened

Still full of sparkle are the memories of our friendship that grew into a relationship that continued on for thirty nine years. Nothing dazzles more than reminiscing about your love of music and dance. The swing tones of the big band era always, always, brought you to your feet as you lead me to the dance floor. Or there was “our” song, Watch What Happens, best sung by Frank Sinatra or Lena Horne in their smooth jazz styles that would cause you to hold me tight as you sang the lyrics and we fox trotted around the floor.

I am still delighted by those memories and moved by those lyrics. Others, when they speak of you as well, have recollections of the good time you had on the dance floor. You dazzled from head to toe with enjoyment. Collecting dust are your shoes still in the closet now just memorabilia of some of the happiest of times spent in the grasp of your hand.

I Do

Sitting on the night stand is your wedding ring worn and not as bright and shiny as when it was new and a symbol of the promises we made during our candlelight ceremony of October 9th, 1971. It’s now worn with the best kind of love you had to offer. True!

I can still hear me saying, “I, Sharon Kay Strohmeyer take you William….” a truly splendid memory. Although during practice the minister had me say only my first name, I repeated my full name I guess because of nerves or maybe I just wanted you and everyone within hearing distance to know you were getting all of me.

Next to your ring are your glasses. They came with age. But, even with the smudges, nicks, and not so true shape I have a precious memory of your warm, inviting dark brown eyes. Those beautiful brown eyes I'm so glad our children inherited from you. Your eyes held compassion, healing, sincerity and just the right amount of mischievousness twinkle. I know you teased and winked your way into many hearts with those eyes. They were my downfall when it came to giving in to you. You knew the power you had with your eyes and when you could no longer communicate verbally your eyes told me what I needed most to know.

Our Hero

And, there sitting on top of your chest of drawers sits a cigar box holding some of your memories before there was us. Along the side of the chest is a scrapbook that our children saw as additional evidence of your courage and patriotism. A scrapbook and tattered box couldn't begin to hold all the courage and patriotism I saw in you. But, our children always loved looking in that old cigar box with the little bronze stars (now dull), pilot wings (now tarnished), ribbons (now frayed and discolored) and especially your “short snorter" now, very fragile as a result of the tape used to hold it together. Discolored, taped and very brittle it remains a priceless treasure for your youngest daughter. Krissy was always so proud to take it to school to show off all the pride she held for your fearlessness and heroism. She also liked taking your scrapbook. She shared with me, long after her school days, the boys really liked looking at the pictures of the nose art on the aircraft. Maybe that should have been better thought out… there was good reason the crews were ordered to dress the ladies before bringing them home after the war. And, now I need to add the contents of a velvet drawstring Air Force bag to that tattered box, the empty shell casings of your last salute. I must remember to look for that bag.

Love's Hold

These are things we keep of him and for ourselves. These items will continue to deteriorate, as all things do, but the memories will last for another lifetime if we share them. There’s still dazzle to be seen in what we hold dear.

“… just let someone with a deep love to give
Give that deep love to you,
And what magic you'll see”

and may I add, "the memories you’ll have."

Enjoy your tarnished, tattered memorabilia it can continue to bring back some of your brightest memories.


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    • sweethearts2 profile image

      sweethearts2 3 years ago from Northwest Indiana

      Thank you for your kind words. My husband was an amazing man.

    • bigj1969 profile image

      John Marshall 3 years ago from glasgow

      Very moving hub,couldn't stop reading,amazing.