a box of cards

on my last weekend home, i’ve been busy sorting through a lifetime of, well, STUFF. it’s been four years since all of my worldly possessions have been in one place and, oh man, it shows. 

amidst the sorting, storing, goodwill-ing, and packing, i found quite a few things i completely forgot i had. some hand knit slippers (not by me, lol), a makeup bag of only lip balms (?), a dreamcatcher!! stuff like that. 

also found my kindle charger, because after a year and a half of staring at my dead kindle i ordered a new one ON FRIDAY. yey.

and then there’s a big old shoe box that is definitely not something i’ve lost (because i always know where it is), but somewhat forgotten. it’s my box that, for the past 8 years, i’ve dropped in little mementos that i can’t seem to throw away. and despite the chaos i mentioned above, trust me, i don’t keep very much. so these things in the box, hey, this is the good stuff.

a box full of ticket stubs, 3x5s, city maps, post-it notes, and more than anything - letters. sentiments scribbled on yellow legal pads, beautiful greeting cards, and everything in between. from people who i talk to daily and people who i’ve not spoken with in years. here and gone - some just from my life, and some from this world. and all of them who i love. they all matter.

life changes in big ways. all of the time. and it seems like the biggest deal ever, but then at some point you get over it and forget about it and move on, preparing for the next change. i do this a lot. and so today, in the middle of my messy room in the middle of this big change, i sat down and read through so many of the letters. and they made me laugh, and cry, and feel more grateful for my rollercoaster of a story than i ever have before. grateful for all of the changes.

aside from a million cards from my mom (you’re the best, mom), here are just a few of the ones that i really loved today:

- one from becca, a thanks for helping her move in at marquette and a recounting of a few ridiculous high school tales. i remember hoping we wouldn’t grow apart. that was six years ago, and last weekend i met her one-month-old son for the very first time.

- a note from carson’s mom, when i was in italy, that said “is it as you expected and more? and better? and worse? and inspiring? and disappointing? then you're doing it right”. i think about this a lot.

- a card from kolin after gramps passed, which says some really incredible stuff and then resolves to say "i'm always here, unless aliens attack, then every man for themselves". 

- directly followed by a letter in perfect cursive, so i know it’s my grandma’s, talking about a really beautiful fall afternoon that her and gramps were enjoying. he had just returned home from walking the dog in the fields across the street. it was just another nice afternoon together. it was the most loving, heart-wrenching, perfect thing to read on an early fall sunday afternoon, and which also happened to be grandparents day. the first one missing the first one. 

my knowledge of physics is entry-level but i sometimes think about that theory that everything is always happening at same time. and reading those cards, in such a comforting way, i felt like that. 

which was an unbelievably poor statement for such an emotion but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. 

ok, enough, back to packing for me. but go write someone a letter, would ya? make their day - and maybe even one a few years from now.