After putting together the Love Jars yesterday, I woke up wanting to read from mine. It was given to me during my first treatment and it sits on a table in my living room, proudly displayed to anyone who walks in there. The Love Jar is an interesting thing and while there is no right or wrong way to use it, I often wonder which way is best. Part of me likes the thought that I may find a love note that I haven’t read yet, so reading a few at a time is fun. The other part of me wants to devour every sweet word in one sitting, so I can be sure that I have read them all.
For this particular Love Jar, I wanted to spread the love across my treatments. I often found myself pulling a sheet or two or three from it on treatment day and every day for about a week after. Then I would wait until my next treatment before reaching in it again, letting the suspense build. I haven’t sat down and dumped the entire thing out so I never knew if I had read all of them.
Today, I decided to read through all of them. I dumped them all on the table and took a seat, tissues in hand. I took my time reading through each note. I laughed hard at some of the fun memories, cried at the inspirational thoughts and prayers people sent to me and tried to recall the details of all of these incredible moments I have been blessed with in my life.
The very last love note sitting on the table in front of me was one of the longest in the jar. It was written by my cousin Jessie:
“You had an issue with your feet and they pointed inward, so you had to sleep with these hard white shoes on your feet that were connected with a metal bar. The bar and shoes pointed your feet outward. I remember your mom putting the shoes on your feet one night, and putting you to bed. A little while later, I snuck into your room to see you guys. (Sounds silly because you were sleeping but I just loved you guys and wanted to see you.) I remember you laying there on your side, your one leg straight up in the air. It was kinda funny but I felt bad at the same time. You were so small, so young – yet you turned your head, opened your eyes for a second and smiled at me. You went right back to sleep. I can specifically remember thinking to myself, how is she so happy right now? But you were. You were so young, had no clue why you had to have these shoes on your feet while you slept. A brave little girl. You could have cried like crazy!! Madelyn would freak out – I can tell you that!
But not you. Not that night. Not the time I remember. Now here we are 30 years later. And here you are- that brave girl. She still lives in you.”
A few years ago, Joe & I traveled to New York and I wanted to gather some of the things that I have left there for the last decade (thankfully they don’t charge for storage). When I first moved here, I only brought what could fit in the cavalier so I left a lot behind. While searching through my parent’s basement for my old boxes, I heard Joe shout in excitement. He was in the room next to me and I could hear him scrambling across boxes and around furniture trying to make his way out to me. When he finally appeared in the doorway, his smile was huge and I could see the excitement in his eyes. In his hand, he held what can only be described as a long lost treasure…
My old shoes.
Joe had heard many stories about these shoes and although a quick Google search showed him what they looked like, nothing quite beats the real thing. I had no idea that my parents had held onto these infamous shoes and was quite surprised at their reappearance that day. Thankfully they are a tad too small for me now.
Hearing my cousin’s story about these shoes and how she felt about me wearing them made me heart swell. Her recollection of me with these shoes was incredibly sweet and offered a different perspective than the memories I have with them. I love having a jar filled with so much love and so many stories just like this.
Feel free to share your Friday flashback!