Yesterday when I was looking for something in the closet in the guest room I opened a large plastic file box and found a treasure trove of memories. There are letters between Jim and me, souvenirs from our honeymoon and this precious date-book.
January to December 1955.
I remembered picking it up from a basket of “freebies” on the counter in the Manhattan Drug Store across the street from the Emergency Room entrance at Johns Hopkins Hospital in December 1954. In those days a calendar of the coming year was a familiar give-away.
Free was important to me and as I look through these months and see how often I was babysitting I am reminded of how grateful I was for those casual jobs. And I recognize the names – families of residents and interns – the gifted guys in the white suits I was so in awe of when I was working on the wards.
There is nothing like an old calendar to bring memories flooding back. As I read through these pages I love watching the progression of the relationship between Jim and me. Even though the details are not noted I remember them. The excitement and innocence of our courtship time, the evenings of meeting Jim in the Doctors Cafeteria in the hospital after 10 PM when he would take a break from “the books” in a study room somewhere in the backrooms of the small libraries throughout the hospital for an hour with me. A few names of casual dates with Jim’s classmates appear until he gave me his fraternity pin on May 16 th –
He proposed on July 9th.
Those were sweet days. I remember pretty accurately how all this happened – but I am grateful to see it in writing. Confirming my memories.
Lovely and touching to find this on our Anniversary, Yes, it was all real. Not a dream. We were young and in love. And looking forward to spending our lives together.
And we did!
To celebrate and acknowledge today – – our 58th wedding anniversary – my family took me out for dinner.
When I told them about finding this calendar they were interested in hearing a few stories about those days – making me promise to take care of it. “We want to have it, Mom.” Well, they can have it – but not yet,
I still have work to do with all these “finds”. Re-reading all the letters – many from Jim to me and me to him. As well as quite a collection of other letters – from my parents and grand-parents writing to a young girl who has just moved 12 hours away from home for school and then marries. Puts me in several other contexts – – rich in the stuff of stories. Also some interesting family papers which document who we have been and what we have done.
Yes, stories to tell – and another goal for my 2014 list –
Organize, scan and copy – the “finds” in the box.
Make an album.
Jim had an impulse for recording family history. I feel him nudging me.
Keep the history.
Tell the story.
It is our legacy for our family!