Tuesday, July 27, 2010

D Day Minus 184: (September 5, 2009); Life is a Box of.......

“Any flammables of firearms?” Bassett Post Office Lady asked as I hoisted up the first of three, thirty five pound boxes of clothes, bound for Utah. She scrunched and stretched her nose at least four times trying to read the numbers on a faded tape measure: which made me think of caterpillars; which made me think of Morgan’s school play in grade school and the costume I made. You know the play, the one where Morgan was a caterpillar going through metamorphosis to a butterfly. Remember how she got stuck in the black cocoon I made out of fleece and Velcro. I thought she was going to die on the stage. You, me, and Dad tried not to laugh while we all willed the cocoon open. By the time she got free, she looked like some wild eyed butterfly. Man, I wish I had videotaped it. It would have been good blackmail material.

Anyway, Post Office Lady was annoyed that I showed up five minutes before closing. I would’ve been there sooner if I would have got the good parking spot. You know, the one right outside the front door. Well anyway, I ended up parking way out in back and lugging all those big a**ed boxes myself. You should have been there to help me, but you had to work. Dad offered, but I thought I’d get the spot in front, plus I wanted to go hunt for Dentyne without him and his grief, so it’s my own fault. At least the locals, opened the door for me, but I had to listen to “she’s such a little thing carrying all those big boxes” each time I brought in a box.

‘No, just clothes.” I said, willing Post Office Lady to move faster. When she finally put the first box on the floor behind her, I grabbed the second box and said something about all the boxes being the same size. It didn’t matter. She measured the boxes anyway. So much for trying to be helpful!

“That’s a lot of clothes.” Post Office Lady said with her southern drawl. “Somebody movin or die?”

“No,” I said, searching for my Visa card. “Just sending clothes to my sister, who will share the clothes with her daughter-in-law and our nieces. I have a lot of family in Utah. I like to share with them because I feel like I’m with them and that we are all connected when they wear my clothes. That way I don’t feel guilty if I decide I don’t like something I bought. Besides, I’m a good shopper and can find some really good deals. Sometimes I buy clothes that I know I’ll just send to Utah because I thought they were cute and my sister or nieces will like them. I just like to share. I love them.”

I don’t think I took a breath and felt like an idiot after I spewed out all that kumbaya crap. I can just see you pinching the bridge of your nose, trying to be invisible. I know I should have just said “clothes.” But, I didn’t want Post Office Lady mad at me or to think I was a stuck up Northerner. Besides, you know how I always fill in dead air.

After that I just kept my mouth shut and wondered if the Post Office had changed much since it was built some fifty-years ago and imagined all the changes that took place. Then I thought about whether people change and if we’re all connected then how do we stay connected if we’re all changing.

These thoughts went on until 12:05 and Post Office Lady said, “That’ll be $95.22. It’ll take up to two weeks.” I handed her my Visa in tandem with “That’ll.”

On my way out, I caught my reflection in the front door window of the Post Office. A 29+ year old mother of two twenty-somethings, brown hair pulled back in a pony-tail clad in a Pepe Le Pew black and gray striped graphic tee, leggings, and monkey shoes. Maybe monkey shoes wasn’t typical Bassett footware. But were you and I really that different from all the Bassett locals? Probably not.  Everyone has dramas playing out in their lives every day. Some better, some worse. Thoughts, feelings, and reactions were the only difference.

A late model car with a really loud muffler broke my train of thought as I walked back to the SUV. I started it up and made sure my cell was in the charger. And stared at my reflection in the rear view mirror, thinking about what matters.

Last May, after you separated from your ex and were on the road to recovery from your bowel surgery, we talked and talked about what really matters. Do you remember that Spring Day when we walked the loop around the pond in Sterling? We talked about how happy we were that Morgan was finally taking care of herself – eating better, exercising, and taking time out to enjoy life. You didn’t care so much that she was looking better and could fit in cute clothes. You were mostly happy that Morgan was feeling better about herself.

You said,”It’s not the outside and how you look that matters. It’s how you feel on the inside.” Then we talked about how our thoughts affect the way we feel. And that beliefs are only thoughts that we keep thinking over and over again.

I said, “Faith was certainty in beliefs." And you said, “Our feelings were like an indicator of thoughts. It was fine to be scared, as long as you find a way to feel just a little be better. Then you’re doing all you can.”

I felt for my Believe in Zebra band and thought of all the others that believed. I wondered what that meant and what everyone believed, but decided it was none of my business. I just wanted everyone to believe that things (no matter what) could get better if you just pay attention and found ways to feel better. It didn’t have to be perfect, just better. I really wanted to tell you what I decided, but knew you were working. So, I texted you, “call when you can.” Because I knew you would.

As I drove through Bassett, passed all the old furniture factories, my mind was still on overdrive. Was life really a box of chocolates? You never know, what your gonna get like Forrest Gump said. Or was it a box of clothes and all the connections it makes by all those that wear them? Or were we the boxes and life is really our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and emotions? I answered “D” for all of the above? So much for standardized tests. You know, I’m just one crazy mother.


  1. you are right about life and having the things in your life that make you happy and lift you up. i really like the box of clothes. i love you!

  2. See I'm always with you when you wear my clothes. Isn't life fun?