Every couple of weeks, the group will be issued a
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well as the link to the complete entry found on the journaller's own journal site.
Diet Week #10
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September 16, 2000
The "If" collaboration is asking the following question: If a natural disaster forced you to leave your home on a moment's notice, what would you take with you? What is your most prized possession?
When you have a guest in your home, especially one who has never met you in person, you find that you begin to look at the things you are accustomed to having around you through the eyes of the newcomer. What is their function? What is their meaning in your life? How important are they to you?
From time to time, when I read about a natural disaster, I think about all this "stuff" around here and do wonder what Id take if I had to abandon this house with a 15 minute notice.
Ive been a person for whom memories have been very important. My book shelves are filled with photo albums dating back to my grammar school days, and up to the present. Each of the kids had not one, but two baby bookswhich I kept up religiously. We have slides, 8 mm movies, and videotapes of most of the important events in our familys life. There are wedding photos of our wedding, of Ned & Martas wedding, of Paul & Audras wedding. We have college graduation photos for Jeri and Tom. There are records, tapes, CDs. There are Lawsuit posters and 10 scrapbooks detailing the history of Lawsuit. There are tsatskes galoregifts to us from foreign students, souvenirs of trips weve taken, crafts the kids made over the years.
So, given 15 minutes to gather up the treasures of a lifetime, what would I take.
In truth? Nothing.
Maybe its having lost people that I love that puts a perspective on the flotsam and jetsam of my life. If I cant have all the videotapes, how could I choose just one? And would it be the end of my life if I no longer had a record of the first drawing Jeri ever made? Would I fall apart if I no longer had a picture of Ned with his diving trophy? Could I live without pictures of Tom and David in their Jazz choir costumes?
I began "making memories" when I was a child. It was important to me to take photos and get them into albums right away. I was "making memories," and even used that term to myself. Now I ask for whom I was making those memories? While the kids enjoy looking back at old photos, I dont see any of them taking on the lot if I werent around. There is no "next generation" to pass them to...and my daughter-in-law jokes that when Walt and I are gone, theyll just blow up the house instead of trying to clean it out.
In contemplating a natural disaster, I can't think of one single thing that I would cry bitter tears over losing. There is only one possible thing that I might grabthat's a papier mache figure of Gilbert as Jack Point. THAT is irreplaceable and I would be sad to lose it. But it also wouldn't be the end of the world if I did.
With that attitude, youd think it would be easy to begin to clean out some of the detritus of life around here, but its not. I mean...how can I throw away the sand from Ipanema Beach that Ned brought home when he was 15? ...the tribble David Gerrold gave me? ...Walts bronzed baby shoes? ...the brick from the old Newman Hall in Berkeley? ...the paperweight Mike and Bill gave me?
Maybe wed all be better off if I start hoping for natural disasters.
Wait a minute...
I just realized what Id save. I should have thought of it right away. Its the only truly valuable thing in this house. The only thing that is treasured by everyone in this family. The only thing that is truly irreplaceable. The only thing that we would all miss... Delicate Pooh.
Delicate Pooh started life when Jeri was a year old and we bought her a Pooh Bear for her birthday. Over the next several years, Pooh was passed from child to child. He had his closest relationship with Tom. He was Toms "baby" and his constant companion. My favorite photo of Tom shows him holding Pooh, who has a bandage on his head, and Tom is feeding him some cereal.
At one point, the family dog got hold of Pooh and chewed off his face. I felt as if a family member had been violated. Jeri repaired it and gave me the silly bear for Christmas. I cried.
Through much loving and abuse, Pooh eventually lost a lot of his stuffing, all of his facial features, and had the consistency of an old rag. But everybody had loved Pooh, who had now acquired the name "Delicate Pooh" because you were kind of afraid to touch him for fear hed fall apart.
I found a 5 lb mayonnaise jar and discovered that it was the perfect size for Pooh. He could even sit up, sort of, with the support of the sides of the jar. And so Pooh moved into a mayonnaise jar and has had a place of honor in the living room ever since. People think were pretty weird when they see this amorphous "thing" in a mayonnaise jar. But they dont realize they are looking at the jewel of the family.
Yes...if I had only a few minutes to grab the thing I would most hate to losemy prized possessionI would grab Delicate Pooh.
|created 9/16/00 by Bev Sykes|