I have been searching the last several days for the title to the car which I recently traded in for a newer, used vehicle. In the course of the search, several other things have materialized that I had forgotten about or have triggered memories. Among them were two boxes of mementos that were my mother's which she kept in her desk. Many of the items have meaning to me and are representative of her great love of her family and friends, her patriotism for the U.S., and her spiritual beliefs that were her strength in difficult times. There are newspaper clippings of World War II relatives and friends who served in the military and the obituary of one who did not survive the war. There is a picture of my oldest brother when he played pedal steel guitar out West during the 1970's. Some of the items leave a few questions in my mind that will most likely remain unanswered. At the bottom of one of the boxes was a child's pencil sketch she had saved. Maybe it was one of the grandchildren's picture of what Grandma Lucy looked like?
Some other ephemera have emerged from this days of search for my car title. Photographs I have forgotten about of pets, family, and friends, a booklet titled, "Relapse Road," that a spiritual mentor needed a copy of because she has given all of her own copies away, and some newspaper clippings of my own I've saved to refer to at some later point in time.
I spent time this afternoon reading one of my journals written in 1982 to 1983, a particularly difficult time when I was hospitalized and withdrew from a college I was attending due to the illness. Times have changed in a lot of ways, and not so much. I eventually recovered and was able to return to work after taking a technical course in clerical work. There are many sweet and bittersweet memories revealed in my journal of that era, written much more neatly than I write now and with painstaking descriptions of what I was feeling and how I related to the world. Loss was a major theme due to the disappointment of not being able to complete my college course work. A boss I don't remember that kindly, told me to let me know when the IBM systems engineer harassed me and he would take care of it. I was surprised to read this. Another boss gave me a tip of $5.00 for a story time I conducted and suggested I buy a plant with it. Sweet memory. My father made the comment that my nose was red probably due to me drinking too much. I wrote once that I enjoyed Sunday morning when my mother read the Bible to me.
The elusive fire and flameproof pouch where I think my car title is safely kept has not appeared as of yet, and tomorrow I must go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a replacement. It has been worth the unsuccessful search for it, to have experienced this journey of my past and others. Yes, I am still here 30 years later and I've survived many more losses since 1982 when it seemed insurmountable to keep moving forward. I have kept moving forward and beyond the losses which all experience. When I have my history, I have much.