Mom's Handwriting

This is also about my inability to throw anything with my name on it away.

I went through a couple of boxes full of holiday trinkets that i've been hauling from place to place since college. I found little heart poster board cutouts, a light–up pumpkin window decoration, a jump rope, silly putty, a string of heart–shaped lights, a black garland with shiny jack–o'–lantern accents, a small slinky. At one time, all these items were purchased by my mom, placed in a box along with a note and some candy, and mailed to my CPO box at Wheaton. CPO workers processed the box by writing me a precious PACK SLIP, and waited for me claim my parcel.

I loved it. I have a thing for delayed gratification, so sometimes I'd carry the Pack Slip around for a bit before redeeming it. Once I did, I'd take the box back to my room and wait for the end of the day to open it. If I had a great day, it was a reward; a bad one, a consolation prize. Sometimes a let a day or two pass before opening it just to have the unveiling to look forward to.

As fun as these little items were to play with, I hunted for the small note my mom left in the box. There was always a note. It usually wasn't anything too elaborate, just a seasonally appropriate greeting card with my name and "Love you," "See you soon!," maybe a happy face reminiscent of the illustrations she drew of our family when I was a baby.

I have all these cards tucked into a crevices I won't find until I decide I have too many ridiculous things.

While I was putting away Christmas decorations and going through boxes I've hauled from place to place, I found one. It was a square gift tag in Christmas colors, certainly from an item I've forgotten was a gift from my mother.

It hit me then that my mother knew this name would be mine before she knew who I was. It was a name crafted specifically for me and only me, and probably written on notepads in running lists of possible names for me, next to crossed out "Sarah" or "Jennifer" or whatever. She has been writing my name in her lovely handwriting longer than she's been able to speak its bearer.

And on whatever day it was that she signed that card with my name, just before she closed it, she put her little swashy heart on the bottom corner. It's not about the gift it was attached to, it's the care taken to remind me of my very first gift and that she loves me.

I stuck the card back into another crevice.

1 comment:

kevin said...

agh! good post. WRITE MORE NOW. especially if it's about your family and/or has pictures.