Last Friday, I was looking forward to beginning the weekend and sharing time with James. It had been a long busy week. He was out of town for a couple of days in the beginning, so the weekend was even more deeply anticipated. Well, around 3, he realized that he had a late class to teach. I was disappointed that he had to work in the evening and delay the start of the weekend. Instead of giving him a hard time for working during family time, I sent him a love note. Nothing special really, just a quick little e-mail to let him know how much I appreciate him.
We used to send love notes back and forth to one another all the time… well since I’ve known him actually when I was 13 and they were notes passed in the hallway in high school. Later it grew to letters mailed from halfway across the world. The beginnings of our love story is documented through these notes and letters. From high school to basic training, from Egypt to West Point Prep, from the army to college, he wrote to me and I to him. And knowing from the beginning that there was something very special about James and partially being a bit of a packrat, I’ve kept them all.
We continued our writing affair through college, when we were a mere hour apart and even through the first few years of our marriage. Many times, it was just a post-it note with “I love you” and other times, it was a beautifully orchestrated poem. But as we became busier with work, school, and kids, the letters and notes began to dwindle. I think it’s to be expected and only makes the occasional writing that much more meaningful.
After a bit of cleaning recently, a treasure chest that my grandfather made for me as a child sat in the middle of our bedroom floor. Usually, it’s kept hidden in the closet. The boys’ curiosity peaked and they could hardly contain themselves wanting to know what was inside. After shooing them away multiple times, thinking that they wouldn’t understand, I gave in to their curiosity and shared the contents with them. Two sweet little boys sat quietly, patiently, and with great awe as I unlatched the small wooden trunk to reveal the past. I showed them daddy’s dog tags from the army and some rose petals from a bouquet sent long ago. I showed them the many envelopes with letters tucked inside. We looked at pictures and trinkets.
Alex, much wiser than his age, said, “Wow, what a great treasure from the past to behold!”