Almost 30 years ago, a 10-year old girl found a box in the storage closet of her apartment full of memories of her mother, who had died at the time of her birth.
In that box was a wedding dress, a jewelry box full of jewelry, some miscellaneous documents, a handwritten note by her mom from when she was pregnant, and a cassette tape recording of her mother’s memorial service.
The little girl played with the jewelry, tried the dress on when her dad was at work, she read and reread the note that talked about her mom’s growing tummy and her love for the baby inside her, and she listened to that cassette tape over and over.
It couldn’t have been long after this young girl’s treasured discovery that she was found out by her father.
Such a shame her mother was kept a secret and never spoken of. What a tragedy this little girl’s longing for her mommy was dismissed so easily.
In an indescribably hurtful move, one day her father took everything except the jewelry box, which he left broken apart and empty on her bedroom floor to be found when she got home from school.
She never saw any of it, ever again.
Don’t ask me how, through all of that, I happen to remember today is the day of that memorial service.
Today is the date that was written on that recorded cassette tape. I can still see the writing on the tape if I focus hard enough.
I can’t remember the words that were spoken that day, but I do remember how much I loved sneaking away and listening to that tape of people talking about how much they loved my mother.
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