The strap broke on Dad’s travel bag today, the one he used over his last few years whenever he visited me. I don’t normally carry my things to the gym in it, but I needed to shower and change into decent clothes before going to teach at CCS.
When one end of the strap broke loose, I felt another physical connection to him snap.
Then I thought of my mother and felt even worse.
I don’t have many things to remember her by. A few pictures. Writing in a scrapbook.
One reason why I have more things from my father is that he outlived Mom. I had practice with losing a parent, and knew what to do, what not to do.
Mom, too, has also been gone much longer — 13 years this July. And everything has a lifespan. Every thing.
The Ghost of Christmas Past
One November my mother went into the basement and discovered that during the year someone had accidentally thrown away her Christmas decorations. A handful of antique glass bulbs, handmade pieces from her kids, a Kmart Santa and plastic reindeer set she’d had for so many years it might well have qualified as an heirloom — all gone.
We tried to tell her they were just possessions. We bought her new decorations, and she loved what we gave her as well, but it was never the same.
Some things you never get over. Even if they were just things.