In our old house, we had this drawer in the kitchen and, for or the longest time, it had nothing in it (which, if you know me, you realize is something of a miracle). After Rip died we were flooded with medical bills and sympathy cards. Both were things I knew I needed to keep (for different reasons) but didn't have the strength to look at on a daily basis and so the drawer began to fill...and fill.
Little notes I wrote to Parke, soon some ultrasound pictures of Gracie, topped off by some in-the-flesh pictures of Gracie, hospital bracelets, Baptism notices, and Mother's Day cards. That drawer became like a little archaeological dig of our lives over the last two years. I knew just how deep to go before hitting something I wasn't ready to face.
Then we moved. This weekend, I opened the box I'd (creatively) labeled "kitchen drawer" for the first time. Right on top there was an "Explanation of Benefits" for one of Rip's bills (one that I have memories of a particularly unpleasant phone call with the insurance company over), a lovely, handwritten sympathy note from a friend that I haven't seen in probably 15 years, Gracie's baptism announcement, and my Mother's Day card from Parke this year.
And it hit me (you know I love a good metaphor) that isn't that really how life is? You can try to keep your good, bad, and your ugly in a kitchen drawer in nice neat layers but eventually you are going to move and they are going to get all jumbled together. I sat there for a while sifting through the little mess that was my last two years, there was so much good that came out of so much bad. It's a (life) lesson I've learned over and over again...this time from my kitchen drawer.