Monday, April 8, 2013

Missing Memories. . .

Since moving to Texas in 1999, Matt and I have moved four times. The apartment we shared for the first year we were a couple was literally across the street from the mall and was a cute little one bedroom apartment with a galley kitchen on the second floor of our building. The second place was a 2/1 duplex at TSTC family housing. Late in 2002, after Matt's granddad died and Matt graduated from TSTC, we moved to another cute little one bedroom, all bill's paid apartment in a unit of one bedroom apartments near MCC where I was attending school.

Our fourth move was to the house we've lived in for the last 8 1/2 years here in Stephenville. But it was something that happened during or move from TSTC family housing to our little apartment by MCC that inspired this post. Well, that and the picture below, which is one of the only pictures I have of my high school friends. It's a Polaroid, which take terrible pictures, that I found today in an old album.

Left to right: Mayra, Julie, Shannon & Jodi, Shannon T., and your's truly.
We had one more load of things we wanted to move out of TSTC before we turned in the keys. At that point in our lives we weren't the most responsible people on the planet, we had already had to move a lot of furniture from Matt's grandpa's house, and so we weren't terribly motivated to keep a lot of our old furniture, which we decided to just leave for the maintenance people to clean up. I was exhausted  and had a ton of unpacking to do, so I sent Matt to pick up the last load with special instructions that he was to make sure to bring the purple Royal Dansk Danish Cookie tin that was under neath the futon and the portfolio with my drawings, pencils, and Prismacolor pens that was standing up between the left arm of the futon and the wall. Those were the only two things I had specified and they were the only two things he managed to leave behind.

At that point, we didn't have cell phones. As a matter of fact, we didn't have cell phones until June 2010, so it wasn't as though we could call or text to make sure everything was loaded up. He had to rely on his memory. After he loaded up the car, and I can't remember now what he did remember because I'm still so crushed about what he didn't, he took the keys to the management office and left the in the key drop. By the time I realized he had left the tin and portfolio, days had passed and the apartment had already been cleaned out. Those two things, which I can never ever replace, were lost forever, and though I still cringe about the portfolio, it was the Royal Dansk tin that was most significant.

I thought at the time, and still think, that he left it on purpose. He would deny it to this day. Inside the tin was the only remnants of what had been my life before he and I were together. The only pictures of high school friends, class photos, group pictures from dances and prom, and the only pictures I had of the day Mike and I got married, as well as the ceramic bride and groom that had been on our wedding cake. But it wasn't the wedding snaps that I was most concerned about, it was all of my high school memories that are not decomposing in some trash heap somewhere. I can never ever get those back.

So, when  I was looking through an old photo book this morning--which is mostly empty with a few pictures of places I'd gone on vacations as a kid--and I came across that Polaroid of the only slumber party I had during high school, I almost cried. Heaven knows it's not a very clear picture, but that's okay. It represents one solid memory in time, the recapture of one of those memories I thought was rotting away. Oh, and I also found a picture of Jodi trying on her wedding dress, a well as one of Jodi and me trying on our dresses together (it's a back shot, but I think I also have the front shot somewhere, too. . . God we were young!!).

What the picture represents, at this point, is so much more significant to me than the memory it represents. I remember we had fun, that's about all I remember about it. But it gives me something to cherish, something to look at, something to make me wonder where Mayra and Julie are now, and what they're doing. I suppose the point is, it's something I thought I'd never have again, and that's truly something special.

Update:I dug around through my photos and had one more of that slumber party. This is what I came up with. Is this your quilt, Shannon?