I am a collector of life, always have been and always will be.
I still have the bright pink box that could be locked when I was a teenager. I of course kept in it my diary, but also reviews of my first two big concerts, The Cure and Simple Minds. I had to travel with my friends to Zurich to attend, quite an expedition! For The Cure, it required placing posters in most of the cafés of our town with my best friend, looking for a ride. As for Simple Minds, we had by then obtained our driving license, my best friend’s parents lent her the car and four of us went this time. This was the pre-SatNav era and the journey involved quite a few not so legal U-turns… Fantastic experiences that still make us smile today. This was also the place where I kept the letters and mementoes of my current love story, until the keepsakes were moved to another box once we had gone our separate ways… Postcards I liked, meaningful words heard and hastily jotted down on a scrap of paper, photos, an interview of a man my Dad admired and on which he had written “My Model”, it all went in there. And in there they still are.
I now possess several boxes. Some of them are stored in my cellar: memories of my first marriage, and of extended family and friends. In our flat I have more. My relationship with Sexy Hubby: hotel bills and brochures, concert tickets and even VIP passes, cards, loving or funny words on a Post-It, holiday photos, our wedding “unofficial” certificate, this brown box is filling up fast. I have another two similar boxes, one for each of my daughters, in which I keep the birthday and Mother’s Day cards they gave me, beautiful or amusing drawings – like a portrait of me in a dress and high heels holding a glass of wine that Second Daughter made! – or presents they crafted themselves with all their love. I sometimes sit down and go through one of the boxes, smiling as I fish out another precious object.
Finally there are in our basement two wooden trunks, as previously mentioned in another post. They are the keepers of my daughter’s lives. In them can be found my pregnancy tests, photos of baby scans, the hospital hat their Dad wore at the birth of First Daughter, souvenirs of holidays, exhibitions we went to, show brochures and tickets – performed by my girls or other talented artists – school memorabilia, a selection of baby clothes, their favourite cuddly toy, on and on goes the list. These trunks have turned into fabulous treasure chests. That is the way I see it anyway, and I am very much looking forward to giving it to them on their respective twentieth birthday.
This post was written for the Writing Workshop with the prompt “Collections”. You will find more stories here: Writing Workshop.