Great 365 Day Purge - Day Thirteen


I must have kept every single card my husband ever gave me in the twenty-five years we've been together: Anniversary cards. Birthday greetings. Christmas and Easter cards when we were engaged. Some, early on, with brief notes penned by my husband. Others--the later ones--simply signed.

Today, I recycled them all.

And my husband did the same with the cards I gave him.

But I did keep this note, written in my grandmother Alice's hand...a note I discovered shortly after her death...a note that records a conversation she'd had with her husband, my grandfather.


April 28, 1991

Conversation at dinner table

Ken: (having been reading "John Cell..." [the rest is illegible]) said, "I could not write a book like that now if my life depended on it."

Alice: "You probably could if you were interested."

Ken: "Well..."

Alice: "You don't seem to be interested in anything."

Ken: "Um..." (in consent more or less).

Alice: "You could try."

Ken: "It just doesn't seem to be worthwhile. Nothing is worthwhile without you."

Alice: "Well that's true for each of us."

I can see my grandparents sitting at the kitchen table during this exchange...my grandfather's glass of buttermilk...their blue dishes, neatly set. I can see their poodles beneath that table, noses poking up the tablecloth as they beg for scraps. I can hear the clock ticking gently in the background. I can hear the sadness in their voices as they struggle to come to terms with my grandfather's cancer.

This note I will keep, as proof of a deep and lasting love. And if my husband and I feel the same about each other near the end of our lives, our love and marriage will have been a success, even without all those recycled cards to prove it.




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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Great 365 Day Purge - Day Thirteen

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Great 365 Day Purge - Day Thirteen


I must have kept every single card my husband ever gave me in the twenty-five years we've been together: Anniversary cards. Birthday greetings. Christmas and Easter cards when we were engaged. Some, early on, with brief notes penned by my husband. Others--the later ones--simply signed.

Today, I recycled them all.

And my husband did the same with the cards I gave him.

But I did keep this note, written in my grandmother Alice's hand...a note I discovered shortly after her death...a note that records a conversation she'd had with her husband, my grandfather.


April 28, 1991

Conversation at dinner table

Ken: (having been reading "John Cell..." [the rest is illegible]) said, "I could not write a book like that now if my life depended on it."

Alice: "You probably could if you were interested."

Ken: "Well..."

Alice: "You don't seem to be interested in anything."

Ken: "Um..." (in consent more or less).

Alice: "You could try."

Ken: "It just doesn't seem to be worthwhile. Nothing is worthwhile without you."

Alice: "Well that's true for each of us."

I can see my grandparents sitting at the kitchen table during this exchange...my grandfather's glass of buttermilk...their blue dishes, neatly set. I can see their poodles beneath that table, noses poking up the tablecloth as they beg for scraps. I can hear the clock ticking gently in the background. I can hear the sadness in their voices as they struggle to come to terms with my grandfather's cancer.

This note I will keep, as proof of a deep and lasting love. And if my husband and I feel the same about each other near the end of our lives, our love and marriage will have been a success, even without all those recycled cards to prove it.




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3 Comments:

At January 13, 2014 at 4:55 AM , Blogger Linda Rosen said...

Kelly, I hope you and your husband do feel the same at the end of your lives and yes, success in marriage doesn't depend on Hallmark cards, but isn't it wonderful to find those old treasures and remember when?

 
At January 13, 2014 at 6:35 AM , Blogger Michelle Stanley said...

Somethings are too sentimental to throw away, like your post suggests. This is a pleasant read.

 
At January 13, 2014 at 8:29 AM , Anonymous injaynesworld said...

Lovely, Kelly. As always, your writing touches my heart.

 

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