Last Saturday I was doing a search on Etsy and came across the purses my Mother sold in her store in the 60's and 70's. My search was for "vintage picnic basket." Right before my eyes was a decoupage wood personalized picnic basket purse she carried for years. It wasn't the exact one she used to carry, but darn close. One could order them with names and towns and items that reflected the carrier's life. My Mom had her shop name on the front: "The Surrey House" and the town, Glenview Illinois put on hers. I can still hear the wooden lid clicking when she closed it. It's funny how our memories can darken, and then be instantly illuminated by sight, sound, smell, or touch.
Then later in the day my niece put up photos of my very young Brother in Viet Nam on FaceBook. I immediately burst into tears. He looked so innocent. I was only 8 when these were taken. At 8 I worried every day that he would be killed. I was obsessed, one could say. I checked our mailbox the moment I came home from school with hopes a letter from him would be there. My Mother bought her store the year my Brother left for the Marines. So in a way, I lost him and her at the same time. After leading a life that seemed unscathed by a long tour in Viet Nam - my brother is dealing with PTSD at 66. When he came home I was 11. I knew instantly this was not the same Brother I had before. But I was too young to articulate what I saw. Now I can tell you that the sweet face below WAS gone forever, even though he returned.
What was also hit home seeing the pictures...was how strong our DNA is. My son looks like the guy in the bottom photo. And when my Grandson is being silly, and I have taken his picture...he looks just like his Great Uncle in the top right photo. It's comforting to know that although part of these people are gone, they live on in the next generations.
Thanks for reading.
Each day is a gift. Open now!