Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I’ve Been Forced to say Good-bye

          Saying good-bye is not always a bad thing.  Especially when it only invites clutter and chaos. In 1985 I was on my mission.  It was my second Christmas in the mission field and my family decided to send me a tape and king size card with greetings from various friends and neighbors from my home ward. 

          A 22X25 poster paper was purchased and folded in half.  My family decorated the front with pictures which represented my personality – a picture of Baloo and Mowgli from Jungle Book (I love Disney’s animated version of that show) Ziggy, a picture of ceramic nativity set, trees and flower in bloom, dance shoes, real mountains (Utah mountains,   not the hills of Virginia where I served) the Salt Lake Temple, dolls, golden plates, scripture  paintings  , and musical icons. 

          In addition to all the magazine cut-outs were two actual photographs.  One was of me with my missionary name tag and the other was a recent family gathering that I would guess Corey had taken (as he was not in it) which included my dad’s mother, brother, sister and their families – or parts of them anyway (my uncle’s oldest two are also missing from the photo)

My 11X14 card contained signatures from so many – it was an honor that my family had gone around with the tape recorder to so many of my ward family.  I think they must have gotten all of them with one devise or the other.  Some would sign my card from self and spouse – and then I would find spouses signature elsewhere on the card.  Some would just sign names without a greeting.  Most were just typical Christmas greetings – but there were some that added personal comments.  Surprisingly, I still remember everybody who had signed the card.

Corey had placed on the back:  “When you care enough to send something better than a Hallmark” and “the Best Homemade Card Company around” – it still makes me smile – and really, it doesn’t take up that much room.  But it’s been bent, torn in places, and some of the pictures have faded.  I don’t really NEED it.  Time to say good-bye.

I don’t know where the tape is.  I have several shoe boxes full of cassette tapes.  Most I will end up throwing away – or use them for recording things I would like right now. I think most tapes contain something that I want – but certainly not all of it.

I remember a couple of people singing Christmas songs on the tape that my family had sent along with the enormous card. One visitor said that she wasn’t aware that I was even on a mission.  It was nice to hear so many voices that had been familiar to me. My family obviously put a lot of thought into my gift and thus I cherished it.  Still do – just not in a tangible way.

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