read to feed the soul

Written by FBJ Women for Women

September 21, 2020

by: Camille Anding

Her Treasure Box

The box placed in the left side of the carport was a constant reminder of an unfinished job, but it was a job neither of us wanted to undertake. It held the paper contents of keepsakes that my husband’s, Othel, mother considered special.

Surely the contents didn’t hold any material value in the world’s eyes, but they were a treasure to Mammaw. That’s why they couldn’t just be dumped wholesale without a final review and goodbye.

It was a refreshing, brisk morning for August, and Othel had just left for a dental appointment. I raised the carport door to step out into the mug-free air, and the box cornered my attention. How long would we walk around this job – I asked myself. “No more,” I answered audibly.

I picked up the box and carried it inside. The assortment was no surprise. She had kept cards from every occasion and relative. The brief notes and love salutations were too meaningful to toss. Instead, she kept them in her dresser along with clippings of family announcements and accomplishments. They were just ink on newsprint, but they were reminders of special events and the joy her family brought her.

There were a lot of pictures. I pulled a stool up to the kitchen counter to sort the collection. Several prints were really old, and the people fixed on the glossy paper were strangers to me. The back was blank, leaving me to imagine their story and connection to our lives. I suddenly thought how blessed to be known by my heavenly Father and for me to know Him – a blessing that time can never alter.

Several of the pictures were of Tahya and Eli. It was a memory trip for me as I returned to their childhoods through those images that had brightened their grandparents’ days. I smiled as I turned over the black and white 8x10 of our wedding day. The three-quarter length lace sleeves on my wedding gown certainly dated it, but almost 50 years carry that privilege.

The picture remembered the lace train that Mother enhanced with hand-sewn pearls – our wedding cake that wasn’t like the one we ordered – the giant bows my bridesmaids wore, and the hysterical guinea that Uncle Ben put in our back seat as we drove off. It was a special picture to Mamaw and still carried a wide range of emotions.

My journey was unhurried, but I soon realized that my throw-away stack wasn’t a stack! Somehow nostalgia had assisted me in returning most of the contents to their box. I realized that the majority of Mammaw’s treasures were treasures to me, too.

Our attic is already more crowded than I had anticipated after our downsizing, but there would be room for one more box. How does one discard such personal reminders of God’s love and faithfulness?

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1

Dear God, Thank You that You are love, and you fill your children’s hearts with it. Your creation that surrounds us reveals your love for all, and whenever we take time to look back into our past, we realize your love and faithfulness has always been a part of our lives. All praise to You, our Heavenly Father. Amen.

Camille Anding

Camille Anding

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Camille Anding is a child of God since age 12.
  • Wife of 53 years to Othel; mother to Tahya and Eli;l grandmother to seven grandchildren and two great-grands.
  • Retired from photography business with Othel. Now carry cameras on their travel adventures.
  • Freelance writer, regular contributor to Hometown magazines, and dedicated to living “my utmost for His highest.”