It has been over a year since my mom died, and after her passing, my brother and I had to clean out her house. It was horrible, time-consuming work, and we were both saddled with guilt over the truck loads we sent to the landfill or off to various charities. Surely, we should be more sentimental. Surely, we should want the dozens of photo albums, her full set of china, her old rosary, but we didn’t. We both had complete houses, full of all we needed. We saw how carefully she had kept our high school Lettermans’ jackets, trophies, and ribbons. In the end, we pitched it all.
This memory was brought to mind lately when I was asked to create a framed memory keepsake for my oldest daughter. It is a tradition at her high school that the moms each put together a collection of soccer memories and display them at the end-of-the-year banquet. I can’t help but think this tradition was started by one of those scrap-booking moms with loads of artistic talent and way to much time on her hands.
I told Meg that I planned to compete for worst shadow-box of all time. In my head I keep fast forwarding forty years and seeing her cleaning out my attic and tossing the shadow box in the dump pile. And I am OK with that because, frankly, a middle-aged woman who hangs a tribute to high-school soccer in her kitchen is kinda sad.
Still, I have to put together this testament to her years of athleticism, and I am kinda pissy about it. My current plan is to line the frame with money. Then, in a year I can mail it to her at college; it will have value, and won’t end up in a landfill.
Meg in the goal, 2006