I Have A Box

In this box, I keep important objects…things.   I bought it after our house burnt down while I was in college.  We – I – lost so many things.  The truly important, the really irreplaceable, my family, were safe but the pictures, mementos, the love notes never sent, the mixed tapes received…those items are lost to the ever fading, untrustworthy, memory.
So, I bought a box to hold the precious items hence forth.  It is supposed to keep them safe from flood or fire, mudslide and the decaying power of sunlight.  It does indeed keep those things safe, but it also protects me.
Today, I opened the box to go through and clean it out.  The time had come to face what was precious and now only causes pain.
The love notes that mean nothing now.  The photographs where we looked happy.  The rocks picked up while on vacations.  They are all gone. They aren’t what hurts any more.
It’s the cards from Granny.  It’s the notes from Do asking me to re-think going away, telling me she loves me – something that seems so difficult to do vocally.  It’s the pamphlets from funerals of people sorely missed.
All of these items – the memories – are in the box.  The box protects me from the onslaught.  It keeps those feelings fresh and present, but locked away. They wait for when I’m ready to see them again.
For a long time, I’ve avoided the box because of what I was afraid of: the memories of a love that has been no more for quite some time.  Now, cleansed of that which didn’t last, I can look at the box and know it holds so much more. 
It holds pieces that are missing.  It holds pieces that should be brought out on occasion and remembered. 
It holds parts of me.

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