Their marriage was good, their dreams focused.
Their best friends lived barely a wave away.
I can see them now, Dad in trousers, work shirt and a hat;
and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand and dish towel in the other.
It was the time for fixing things, or 'keeping' them as they put it:
A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, back door screen, the hem in a dress.
Things we keep.
It was a way of life, and sometimes, it made me crazy.
All that re-fixing, reheating leftovers, renewing.
I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence.
Throwing things away meant you knew there would always be more.
But when my mother died, and I was standing in that clear, morning light in the cold reality of a hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes, there isn't any more.
Sometimes what we cherish most gets all used up and is gone...Never to return.
So, while we have it, it's best we love it, and care for it, and fix it when it's broken, and heal it when it's sick.
This is true for marriages, old cars, kids with bad report cards.
For dogs and cats with bad hips, aging parents and grandparents.
We keep them because they are worth it, because we're worth it.
Some things we keep, like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.
There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special...
So we keep them close, like a treasure."
And some items won't be kept, no matter how tightly you try to hang on to them...
Maybe that's the way it's meant to be!