The “Treasure Box”
Last Summer a series of 20 posts appeared here entitled “Toritto – A Life in Pictures.”
As Clark’s first birthday approached in November I decided to build him a “treasure box” of mementos of his grandfather. After all, he is only one and I am 75 so there is little real chance I am going to be around for his high school graduation. And even if I am around I doubt I’ll be lucid!
My grandfather passed on my 12th birthday in 1954; my father was told right in the middle of my party. While of course, I “knew” my grandfather I really didn’t. It would be years until I learned of his trials; having three children with his wife Antonia and then losing her at a young age.
Deciding to go to America. Courting my grandmother who had to decide if she wanted to marry a man with three children, leave her country, family, friends, culture and language forever for a new life far away. I know when they were born and when they died. I knew them as their grandchild. I am named after him.
But I never got to the details of their lives. I didn’t yet have the wisdom to ask or care.
Not until I got older and wiser. Today I would give anything for an hour to talk with them over dinner. By the time I was wise enough it was too late. All of the details are long gone as is anyone who could fill in the blanks.
And so I set up a treasure box of memories and things for Clark who maybe someday will be wise enough to want to look for the details.
I put things in it.
The watch his grandmother gave me on the day of my discharge from the Army in 1967. Fully refurbished and in working order if men still wear watches in the future.
I put in his grandmother’s wedding ring which I gave her in 1963 – in case he would like to give it to a woman he loves.
The ring my parents gave me at my high school graduation. Relatively inexpensive 10K gold with a tiny chip of diamond and sapphire. They bought it from David who would sell merchandise on credit at a time when there were no credit cards and poor families couldn’t charge at Macy’s. There is sacrifice in that little 10K ring. And David introduced me to the 1812 Overture.
I put in the books I have self published into the box.
And I put in pictures – original photos clearly marked of four of his great-great grand parents, four of his great-grandparents and lots of pics of his grandparents and his mom as a child growing up. It is time to pass these on before they are lost.
And a letter. Sealed. Marked for him when he graduates high school just in case I won’t be there.
And a loose leaf binder.
I copied and printed “My Life in Pictures” – all 20 posts. I inserted each page front to back in plastic sleeves, some 80 pages of pictures and prose and put them together in a book. And I put the book with the box.
Age and the awareness of mortality makes one do such things. We all want to be remembered in some small way, at least by those we love. He is going where I cannot – into the future and I hope some day he will open these things and smile. It is pleasant to think of him wearing my watch to his graduation.
Now one might ask why print web pages into a loose leaf binder? After all, isn’t the ether of the net forever? Well no it isn’t. My first poems published on a curated site elsewhere as well as many posts on another are all gone. The sites went down and that was that. I lost work I would today like to have. C’est la vie.
I did have copies on my word processing program but that too disappeared when my old desk top computer died and the documents could not be recovered.
My next project to keep an old man busy is to create another loose leaf book containing my poetry. Not that it’s all that great or memorable mind you but I like to think of Clark someday reading his grandfather’s ramblings and musings.
So I’m going to be posting mostly poetry here for awhile. Many of these you have already read but you will have to bear with me in a sweet cause. I will shine them up and make them look like new. 🙂 We are all tired of reading about politics anyway.
After they are re-posted in almost chronological order of being originally written I will print out the page for the book. I will include an appropriate picture but leave out the music.
We all die twice. Once when we pass on and once when our name is spoken for the final time.
Thanks Uncle Pete!!