Monday, February 24, 2014

A day at a time

The twins walk in the door and head directly to the toy room. Yes, I have a toy room just the same as my mother did many long years ago. The toy basket is the old wicker baby basket from the Loxley side of the family. It holds toys that I played with as a child as well as those that my children and older grandchildren loved.

I don't put things up when the little ones comes to play. They are very good at listening...or at least looking at me before they move an object from a shelf. I pulled the old cast iron car from the shelf handing it over to Nolan. He didn't notice that it was an ancient car. Nope, it was a car and that was good enough for him. A short time later I looked over to see him pick up another item from the shelf. I nodded, and he smiled. He lifted the cast iron horse and carriage. After a good look at the horse, he decided that it was a good choice. The old and the new.

A bit later Emma came out of the room with my mom's Bible. The inscription in the front reads: Ruth Johnson age 12. Along with the Bible came a journal my mom had kept. Mom's journals were only a line or two each day. They didn't say much more that the fact that she did laundry or perhaps baked. This journal was different. I sat looking at the history of my mother and my father. The daily simple things that Mom usually wrote were a bit longer with a bit more added regarding failing health. She wrote all of the names of those she had seen each day. The people who stopped by. The church people who came to call. The family who came by for a cup of coffee. Junior who drove Mom to and from the hospital to see Dad. The daughters who came in because they needed to. I closed the little book and looked at the toys scattered around the floor. The old cast iron toys next to the Fisher Price toys of the seventies. Different instruments were scattered as well. Two recorders, a guitar, a melodica and a toy accordion. It occurred to me that if I had a daily journal, the recordings in it would be long and probably boring to the average family member. I could not put into the words the feelings that I had looking at the old with the new. I wondered if someday my family would understand that I am the old and the new. I hold the history and the hopes.

My grandchildren played among the toys oblivious to the history they were sharing with me in those very moments. Perhaps one day a child will lift up an old piece of writing by an old woman they did not know and hand it to the parent who just might look at it and wonder what I did a day at a time. Would they know that I was teaching the old to the new.

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