Family: By the Bedside


Note: Recently in class,  I had my students pick a drawer, shelf, box or cabinet about which to write. I wanted them to think about why it was their favorite and know what it contained. Why was it special? That sort of thing.

Many times I will write alongside my students so they can see me responding to what I ask them to do.

Here’s what I wrote.

I don’t know that I’d say it was my favorite but  I’m going to write about the drawer in my sister Karen’s nightstand.

Karen, one of my two younger sisters, and I spoke frequently on the phone and our relationship was a close one even though we lived seven hours apart.  However, it wasn’t until I cleaned out this drawer after her passing that I realized how much more alike we were than I had previously thought.

First, I was almost unable to open the drawer because of its scattered contents and their precarious positions within. But when I pulled it out, I immediately saw more writing utensils than any human should be allowed to have! Aside from the fact that she simply loved buying office supplies, she wrote regularly in personal journals. She wrote notes to people. She simply wrote.

My drawers – as well – are filled with pens, pencils, markers, colored inks.

Next, I found notes and handmade cards from her boys. You’d find the same type of  “tucked away treasures” in my drawers.

Then I observed a collection of miscellaneous electronic cords – for phone chargers, cd players, etc.  Oh yeah, and scissors! Very important. Where there is paper there should always be scissors. Besides moms must always be prepared for cutting price tags off new clothing, using them as a makeshift screwdriver and slicing through cellophane wrapped purchases.

As I dug more deeply –  beneath the receipts and other items – there were her devotional books and a Bible, special items that were part of her daily reading.

As I removed these items out, I organized “the keepers” on top of her dresser.  I took the various writing implements and traveled to the kitchen, where I tried to cram them into a large clay pot on her kitchen counter.  It was brimming with like items and had reached its maximum capacity well before I had emptied my hands. I was unsuccessful wound up stuffing them in another nearby drawer.

You might think it odd to relate to the stuff inside a drawer but looking inside it was like having her here again.

And I loved it.

Just wondering: Is there a favorite box, drawer or cabinet in your life? Share your story. I’d love to hear it.


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