A few weeks ago, in a feeble attempt to keep busy while waiting on word from my agent on Baby Grand, I brought in some boxes from my garage that my husband had been asking (begging) me to go through for years.
“They’re taking up space,” he said.
The first box I opened contained all sorts of stuff from school, including little crumpled up notes written by friends that I kept for some important reason that I have long since forgotten, notebooks, folders, yearbooks, and my autograph book from elementary and junior high school. My children were curious about the stuff in there, about their mother before she was a mother, when she was a little girl, a daughter, a student, somebody’s girlfriend. I got all choked up reading the “best wishes” and “we love yous” that my grandparents wrote to me when I was in sixth grade, because when I read them then I didn’t appreciate the sentiment as much as I should have or how 30 years later I would no longer be able to tell them that I love them back.
Then there was a poem written by my brother, who was seven years old when I graduated elementary school. In rickety penmanship, he wrote:
If Blackie was across the sea,
What a good swimmer Dina would be.
“Blackie,” of course, was in reference to John Stamos‘ character on General Hospital.
The memories came flooding back — of running home from school to watch Blackie and Jackie Templeton, played by Demi Moore, on General Hospital and then Edge of Night, that weird little half-hour soap starring Lori Loughlin, of being a latch key kid, rotary phones, our first color television and VCR, the premiere of Friday Night Videos and Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.
There was my childhood in my hands, plotted out on neatly folded, multicolored pages of a little blue book with a zipper around its sides, kept in a box in my garage for years, now spewing memories in my living room.
“How do I throw this stuff out?” I asked my husband.
He sighed knowingly and said, “So we’re putting everything back into the garage?”
I don’t know. I can’t decide. The boxes are still stacked in my living room. The kids now walk around them when they come home from school, and I’ve gotten into the habit of putting the day’s mail on top.
I feel like I’ve rediscovered a little piece of me. And I’m not ready to let her go. Even if Blackie was across the sea.