Balancing a load of folded clothes in my hands, I spy the letter for the twins I have to file away in their memento box. Picking it up I gingerly make my way upstairs. Stowing away clothes, I take the letter to my room and open up the grey suitcase that houses things old and new.
Pictures from a long ago childhood. First birthday cards for the twins. Letters from their other family. I put the letter on top and am about to close the box when a bunch of cards catch my attention. I glance at the clock and know I have time before the baby wakes.
I make myself comfortable on the bed and spread the cards before me. I pick cards at random and have a hearty laugh at the naiveté on display. Some take me back a good twenty years while some are more recent. I am almost done when a white card with simple lettering catches my eye. I flip it open and feel my breath catch. Words that once meant a lot now seem plain. I remember treasuring the card. Remembering to pack it with my wedding trousseau. A relic of good times to carry me on to a newer life.
I read it once more and put it back in the pile more forcefully than I intend. As if to firmly put the past where it belonged. I smile at my pettiness and gather everything back into the suitcase. Walking down, the train of thoughts that the card had triggered swirl in my head. I live life in phases I think. People, places, feelings. They seem cyclical. As I age, I leave more than just the years behind. I leave behind memories I once held to tenaciously. I leave behind people I thought I would grow old with. I leave behind feelings that have lost intensity. Some things are better left behind.
I hear the baby wake and smile. I gain new people. I will make new memories. I will rediscover the joys of unbridled expression.