Friday, September 03, 2004

Things people remember

My uncle turns 50 next week and we're having a surprise party for him. My mom came up with an interesting idea--she asked our immediate family to write letters for him, each detailing a memory we had about him or something we love about him. The things I wrote about? The skunk costume he wore to my first birthday party which caused me to scream hysterically until he changed out of it; a conversation we had about dating when I was 13; his advice to me a couple years ago about how to buy a house; and his sense of humor about my aunt's crazy alternative life.

My aunt on the other side went on a religious retreat recently and I received a similar request from her sponsor--could we write a letter telling her why we loved her? I was stumped--not because I don't love her but because I didn't know why. I seized upon inspiration at the last minute. I wrote about my aunt's love of photography and how she expresses her love for us my sharing those pictures with us and how much that means to me.

A few months after I graduated from college, I returned to St. Louis to go on the second part of a religious retreat with the Catholic Student Center. During the first retreat to demonstrate love, the retreatants had been inundated with letters from people who loved them--family, friends and perfect strangers who loved us simply because we were opening ourselves up on this retreat. (Very similar to my aunt's experience I would imagine.) Those letters were amazing to me--something I still keep and pull out when I need to feel those emotions. But that part of the second retreat was different. The organizers asked someone we were close to who was part of the community to name one thing they loved about us. My former roommate Wendy mentioned a pillow that I keep on my bed--one side embroidered with "Ashes of Bad Boyfriends" and the other with "Ashes of Problem Professors." Wendy told about how that pillow was representative of how I was always there when she needed someone to talk to--about bad boyfriends, problem professors, or anything in between.

It's interesting the things people remember.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.