Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Piece of Paper

I usually make a "weekend checklist" on Friday morning, complete with boxes to check off. And yes, I usually include a couple things that I have already accomplished. This weekend's list included laundry, responding to some emails, a little shopping, and the word "BLOG". I have been pondering a certain blog all week, but this morning when I sat down, the whole concept suddenly changed.  I grabbed my Bible to reference the building of altars in the Old Testament for the purpose of remembering. But when I took my Bible out of its spot, a piece of paper slipped out to the floor.

I unfolded it. It was a list of all the places Gary and I had spent our 24 anniversaries. We kept a running list, and every year on July 19th, we loved reading it over and reminiscing about all the fun adventures we'd had. Seeing it again took my breath away.

But it's just a piece of paper.

A couple blog entries ago, I wrote about Thomas leaving me a piece of cheesecake the night before I took him to college.  That cheesecake was so tasty. But it was the sticky-note attached that tendered my heart.  This piece of paper is now magneted to my fridge. Daily, I look at it and think about the heart that created it for me. I think about the thoughtful heart that bought the slice of cheesecake, wrote the note, placed it strategically so that it would be the first thing I saw when I opened the fridge on THAT day...a day he knew I deeply needed some "heart."

Not just a piece of paper.

I have, stashed in the way-back of my file box, a collection of random cards that I have kept throughout my adult life.  I look at them periodically, usually when I am searching for a birth certificate or tax document.  This one is a birthday card written to me by my Dad back in 1992. My Dad was a great writer, and by "great," I mean creative, consistent, encouraging and prolific!  His unique handwriting and his messages of love will forever be a comfort to me.

A treasured piece of paper.


As I learn to navigate this new "cheerleading" stage of my life, I have made a new commitment to myself and to my children. I will write to each of them each Sunday evening. Some weeks, the notes will be rather ho-hum. Some weeks they will include details of things my preschoolers have said that have made me laugh. I may or may not slip in a $5 bill or a coffee card. Some will be sermon-ettes springing from a thought or concern I've had that week. And though we talk, email, text, and facetime weekly, making most of the snail-mail subjects "old news" by the time the kids get their letters, I am convinced that there's something just a little different about getting a real letter in the real mail.

Even though it's just a piece of paper.

What are the pieces of paper in your life? The little scraps that together have formed a story? When I die, my kids will get to read through this random collection of mine, and in so doing, little gaps will be filled. They will know their mom, their dad, and their grandpa better. They will know what mattered most to me. And they will know how deeply they were loved.

So much more than just pieces of paper!