Things That Carry Love

Things That Carry LoveThere are many different ways to hug and hold the ones you love.
I had a daughter who loved to make books.
I have a mother who shows her love by knitting sweaters and crocheting blankets.
And then there’s my own thing: swaddling images of my beloved ones in ribbons of fluff and flowers, in Photoshop.
These three things all came together on Saturday before Mothers Day, when I was looking for the old baby sweaters my mother knit, to photograph and photo-shop them into softly wrapped layers around an old baby picture.

On Saturday, from way back on the top shelf of a closet, I pulled down a box labeled KIDS. There were no baby clothes inside but the box was filled with my kids’ artwork and school projects. Ones I don’t remember ever seeing. Back in the days when tiny crayoned booklets, Play-Dough creatures, and kids’ paintings turned up daily, I must have stashed away a bundle of kid-stuff without even looking at it. In the middle of the box I found a spring-bound book. On the first page was a colored-pencil picture that said, “to MOM.” Pages later, through tears, I came across this drawing that read, “dear mom I mist you I lof you.”

Marika’s books from her early years, full of bright renderings of cats, rabbits, angels and goddesses, were mostly made for me. For years, after she died, they kept popping up. In her attic loft. In my drawers. In corners of her room. Hidden away all over the house. I thought I’d already found them all. But Marika and I were both great at squirreling things away. Maybe next time I’m searching for some random thing, I’ll find another gift from her.

I still haven’t found the tiny beautiful sweaters my mother knit for my babies. They’re somewhere, carefully stowed away in a safe place. But something tells me this is all related to my need to envelope everyone and everything I love, and tuck them all snugly into cozy secure nests, in Photoshop.

How do you show your love? What do you keep that reminds you, you were loved?

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4 thoughts on “Things That Carry Love

  1. Jacqueline Preston

    Sadly, my daughter died more than seven years ago in a fire that also destroyed our home and everything in it. Therefore, I have very few things that belonged to my daughter. The only things we had were the things that were in her car, her purse (the detectives retrieved it and gave it to me), the jewelry that was removed from her body, and a few scant items that my husband and I had in and around our desks at our offices. I so wish I was able to make a pillow out of a piece of her clothing, and even wear some of her vast wardrobe. So, we take what we can get, and be glad that we have at least a few items to hold on to and cherish.

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  2. Elaine Mansfield

    Beautiful, Robin. I didn’t save enough of those things from my kids, but have a small stash. I still have a file of letters from Vic, most of which I haven’t read. I know where they are and when I need them, I read one at a time. Then I take that in for a while. I know I wrap Vic in love in my blogs about him. Just passed the 50th wedding anniversary and the 10th anniversary of his death comes the beginning of June. Piling it on, but filling me with as much love and gratitude as grief. I guess time heals in that way. It doesn’t diminish the grief, but it softens it with gratitude. Sending you lots of love and more hidden treasures.

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  3. Lynne Taetzsch

    When I was younger I moved often and traveled lightly, throwing out anything that didn’t have a clear practical value. Thus, I saved nothing that my daughter made. But when I became a grandmother, I suddenly embraced sentiment. I have a beaded snake, a clay turtle, a puffy refrigerator magnet–each made by precious hands expressing their love. So glad you found Marika’s drawing!

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  4. Lucy Bergström

    Dear Robin,
    What a treasure you found! I find drawings from my kids in unauthorized places, on the backs of loose recipe pages, or in kid books. But for you to find Marika’s drawing with such a poignant greeting is downright amazing! I’m sure you’re feeling warm and fuzzy all over. I love the frame you made of quilting fabric.
    See you soon! I’ll be in Ithaca for a couple of weeks starting on June 14.
    Love, Lucy

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