Sunday, June 7, 2015

The keeper

I grew up with practical parents, 

A mother, god love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then re used it. She was the original recycle queen before they had a name for it. 

A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed then getting new ones. 

Their marriage was a good one. Their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a walk away. 

I can see them now, dad in his trousers, mom in her house dress. Lawn mower in his hand, dish towel in her's. 

It was a time for fixing things, a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep. 

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. 

There is no wealth but life.
~John Ruskin

All that re-fixing,  re- heating, renewing. I wanted, just once, to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence, throwing things away meant you knew there would be more. 

But then my mother died. and on that clear spring evening, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of knowing that sometimes there isn't anymore. 

Sometimes, what we care about most, gets all used up and goes away...never to return.  So, while we have it, it's best we love it, care for it, and fix it when it's broken, and heal it when it's sick. 

This is true, for marriage and old cars; children with bad report cards, dog's with bad hips, ageing parents and grandparents. 

We keep them because they are worth it, like a best friend who moved away, or friends you grew up with. They are people and things that make life important, like people we know are special. 

 We keep them close. The keepers 

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