Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Trunk Of Life

I have a large trunk made of cedar. It's NOT a trunk, but a chest. I misspoke. For future reference, I may call it a trunk at times and at other times I may refer to it as a chest. Humour me. 
 It's what used to be called a "hope" chest which I think is a demeaning term that implies that a woman was "hoping" for a husband and on that note, she filled this chest with linens, silverware and anything that might be of use to a newly wedded woman.
I don't think they are a big seller these days but my mom made sure each of her daughters had one. Mine stayed empty. I wasn't hopeless but I wasn't hoping either. I wasn't in a hurry to gather anything that might indicate a rush to marry.

Years later when my mom passed away, I hauled that pine chest to my house here in Louisiana.

I renamed and re purposed it "The Trunk of Life" even though it was a chest and not a trunk in my mind. From the time it arrived here, I have tossed things in it. I'm usually a most organized person. Not with this trunk/chest. When I say I "toss" stuff in it, it is not an exergeration.
Some of the things tossed in this chest are school pics of the grandkids, report cards, progress reports, ticket stubs to place we have been, receipts for bikes, skateboards, cancelled checks  and on and on.

There have been times when the grandkids appear and the trunk/chest is slid out of the closet to be explored. I can hear them squealing and laughing as they discover an item that causes them to have memories revived. I hear the chatter of their conversations as they compare memories.

The trunk/chest will be a treasure of things to be revisited and it is my hope that after I'm gone (I'm going to the big concert in the sky) this trunk/chest will be a source of enjoyment for those who visit.

Ted's handmade mortar board made of white cardboard with a red yarn tassel that he wore when he graduated from kindergarten is in this chest. He doesn't remember that day, but he has seen this mortar board before and knows who it belongs to. Elise's report cards hide in the depths of this chest along with receipts for her first car.

I toss things into this chest that mean nothing to them but does to me. One day they will open this chest and see these things and try to cipher the meaning. I only wish I could be viewing their viewing and hear their speculations on the what and the why of the things I've included that will make them go "hmmmm".

I don't want this chest neat and tidy. I want it to be helter skelter, reach and retrieve in bits and pieces the pieces of the puzzle of their lives and mine.

It might be time to drag it out of the closet and pitch in some of the things from Carrie's life.

It definitely is time for me to slip into bed and recharge. A good night to all. I'm gone.


  1. A memory trunk. Can't be a bad thing.

  2. Lovely! I used to collect all sorts of things like this, but couldn't bring everything here when I moved. I do still have the antenatal report cards which recorded the progress of my pregnancies 30years and 28years ago...I just can't part with them! Oh and a couple of pictures painted by my kids before they started school. I wish I had managed to keep more things.


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