My grandmother had them. My mother had them. I have them. You have them. Cardboard boxes. Not the ones with old tires or clothes the wrong size, but those with childhood drawings, toys, baby clothes and photos inside.
We all save moments of our loved ones’ time on Earth, in cardboard boxes. They become the receptacles for badges, awards, trophies, honors and honorable mentions. All of the special drawings, macaroni pictures, wire sculptures and finger paintings are lovingly put up, for us to view in later years and remember the sweet feelings and love of the time.
When I visited my mother, I would enjoy getting into those old boxes and reliving those precious memories of my past. So much of my youth was captured and saved in recycled boxes for me to revisit on my treks home. My mother loved to reminisce about those moments with me. too.
We shared great times over coffee, cookies and those tattered old boxes. We relived school events, birthdays, Christmases and Girl Scout trips. All kinds of bits and pieces of my life brought back memories and shared times. We would talk, laugh and cry, all in one afternoon. It was magical!
Now I have my own cardboard memory boxes, full of moments from my childrens’ youth. Those special photos, baby clothes made by Nana, loved toys and two tiny Baptismal candles.
When my children (and grandchildren) come to visit we walk down memory lane in our own way. We open our boxes and revisit times at church camp, Cinnamon our dog, several pet cats, family vacations and three different moves.
Isn’t it amazing that we all should keep some of our most precious possessions in such flimsy containers? Cardboard boxes can appear so temporary, so easily degradable and yet hold such irreplaceable souvenirs. They hold the memories of life itself.
Cardboard boxes are not really boxes after all. They are treasure chests. They hold the treasures of lives spent in our company, the memories of ones we love and cherish, the reminders of babyhood and youth. Guard your cardboard boxes well! Many of them have fragile contents!
1 – Love Unconditionally. Let them know they are the light of your life. Always end the conversation with “I love you”. Tell them often how much they mean to you.
2 – Cheer them on. Not just at soccer or baseball games, but always tell them they can do it. Give them encouragement. Always be on their side and help them to believe in themselves.
3 – Laugh. See the funny side of life. Tell jokes and laugh at their jokes. Use humor to heal the heart.
4 – Hug. Make physical contact when appropriate. Give a good hug and kiss. Sit close and snuggle. Hold hands when walking.
5 – Move as much as you can. Keep active and do it with the grandkids. Walk. Ride bikes. Swim. Hike. Camp. Go fishing. Garden. Dance. Anything done with a child can be fun!
6 – Enjoy life. Don’t be a hermit. Be active in the world. See friends. Go to movies and plays. Listen to music. Go to the library. Join a club. Be active in church. Meet your neighbors.
7 – Be positive. Keep a good attitude. Don’t complain. Change the things you don’t like and adjust to the things you can’t change. Be an optimist.
8 – Have a hobby. Keep busy. Have a passion and an interest. It gives you something to talk about!
9 – Forgive. Set a good example and let go of the wrongs done to you. Learn to say “I’m sorry” also.
10 – Always greet them with a smile. Make your grandchildren feel as though you have been waiting for only them. Always always greet with a smile. Tell them how glad you are to see them.
“14 COWS FOR AMERICA” “It is June of 2002, and a very unusual ceremony begins in a far-flung village in western Kenya. An American diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed on the men, women, and children of America, and he is there to accept it. The gift is as unsought and unexpected as it is extraordinary.
A mere nine months have passed since the September 11 attacks and hearts are raw. Tears flow freely from American and Maasai alike as these legendary warriors offer their gift to a grieving people half a world away.”
The Maasai’s profound gift of hope and friendship? 14 cows! To the Maasai, their cows are everything. They sing to them. They give them names. They shelter the young ones in their homes. Without the herd, the tribe would likely starve. Their cows are life itself.
When one of their own, Kimeli Naiyomah, returns home from New York, where he is studying to become a doctor, the tribe hears of the great loss and suffering of the American people. America has become his second home and he desperately wants to do something to help. Remembering his childhood teaching of sacrifice, “TO HEAL A SORROWING HEART, GIVE SOMETHING THAT IS DEAR TO YOUR OWN,” he offers his only cow to take away some of the sadness from American hearts.
The sacred, healing cows will never be slaughtered. They remain in the care of the Maasai and have increased in number to more than 35. They continue to be a symbol of hope from the Maasai to their brothers and sisters in America. The Maasai wish is that every time Americans hear this story of the 14 cows, they will find a measure of comfort and peace.
What a fantastic book this is! And what a wonderful way to teach children how to respond to suffering. It’s never easy and especially with little folks, we tend to avoid the tough stuff. This book is a big help.
I tear up every time I read the last page, which shows a close-up of a Maasai child’s face, with the Twin Towers reflected in one eye. The final sentence reads, “Because there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort.” I think that says it all!
My niece and her husband, who live in Arizona, have 5 sons ranging in age from 21 to 6yo. (They also have a daughter age 4, but I’m only talking about boys here!) They are my “spiritual” grandsons. I adopted them “in spirit” about 2 1/2 years ago, when my niece asked Gramps and me to be her Mom and Dad. She broke away from her abusive birth family and asked to become a part of ours. We were delighted! And she brought us 6 grandchildren in the bargain.
These last 2 1/2 years have been exciting and different, to say the least. I may have thought I knew all about having grandsons from the first little one, but I’m learning all about having grandsons now! They keep me on my toes for sure!
Grandsons are energetic, playful and very funny. They are honest to a fault. They tell you straight out if anything smells bad, looks weird or doesn’t suit their fancy. They ask for what they want and complain when they don’t get it. They are angelic when asleep, hunger when awake and never have enough toys that fit into their pockets. Little boys believe they can do anything and try to do everything and that’s just before lunch! They are lovable one at a time or in groups. I can’t get enough hugs and kisses from grandsons, even if they are disguised as pokes and handshakes.
I didn’t think life could be any better, until I got the best news from my son. He is getting married next summer to a great gal he has known since high school. And guess what? She has 2 boys!! We’re getting 2 more grandsons, ages 6 and 3. Yippee Skippee! Yahoo! Whoopee!
That will be 8, count them 8, grandsons in total! That’s a big number. But I am so ready! I love grandchildren any way they come to me – any shape, size, age or gender. I do, however, seem to attract boys, whether homegrown, prepackaged or delivered long distance.
One thing I know – these grandsons of mine, my “boys”, fill my heart and fill my life. There’s always plenty of room, plenty of love, plenty of Granny to go around. And there always will be!