Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)
TITLE: Bubble Wrap and Barbie Doll Dresses
By Misti Chancellor
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“How does one select just one memory from 30 years of life?” I pondered. I thought about all the family vacations, the piano lessons, the family reunions, the trips to the grocery store with Dad, hauling water to Dad’s garden out at “Poppity Acres” (my sister’s name for the land where Dad hoped to build a bigger house), Velcro-close shoes in 2nd grade, lessons in how to fold a cloth diaper, Mom teaching me how to hem a skirt, and a couple hundred other memories. But what would really say what I wanted to say? What memory would show what I appreciated most about all the things that our parents had done for us?
I thought about growing up, and all the times when Dad would come home, and we’d run out to meet him. Sometimes he’d let us carry his “brick” (a brick-sized electronic device that worked like a cross between a pager and a text messaging device – used by IBM employees to share information) into the house. And sometimes, he’d walk in with a big roll of bubble wrap under his arm that he’d rescued from the trash bin. My older brothers would get out the scissors and divide that bubble wrap as equally as they could between the seven or eight of us (at the time). How Mom and Dad kept their sanity and their hearing is beyond me, but they joined in, showing us the best way to pop those bubbles: put it on a hard surface and JUMP!
I thought some more about the toys we had, and how Mom took the time to make decent clothes for our Barbie dolls. I remembered how she had our grandpa (her dad) help our brothers build a doll house for us girls to use with our Barbie dolls, and all the time she spent decorating it.
As I thought about it all, I realized the blessing we had in our parents. They took the time to know their kids, to teach them, to train them, to love them, to discipline them, and to give them advice. As I stood and listened to the memories my siblings shared, it was the little things that we remembered most and that were so important to all of us. It wasn’t expensive toys, fancy clothes that mattered most to us. Without exception, it was the time, the sacrifice, the advice, the training, and most of all, the love that they had for us that we appreciated.
There is a song that says,
“Don’t scatter roses after I’m gone, give them to me while I carry on…”*
Today, because my sister cared enough to organize it, I have a precious memory of my parent’s 35th wedding anniversary celebration, and the opportunity their 13 children had to present them with a bouquet of memories - one rose at a time and watered with tears of appreciation - while they were still with us to appreciate it. I’m thankful that we still have them with us and I hope to have many more precious memories to carry with me in the future.
*Don’t Scatter Roses – Larue Lancaster, sung by Vocal Union
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