Two Trunks

I’ve got two of these.  The first, the larger of the two, is the keeper of many childhood memories I hold dear.  I can easily spend an hour or more poring over it’s contents, and it’s very likely that tears will flow before I reluctantly replace everything and close the lid.

Tucked inside are treasures like Mom’s wedding dress, Dad’s army uniform, love letters from Dad to Mom, pictures, baby clothes that I wore and that my children wore, and funeral books and cards from Mom and Dad’s funerals.

The second one is smaller and came to me more recently; it belonged to my birth-mother.  It too contains a wedding dress, letters, pictures and baby paraphernalia. Truthfully, I have never thoroughally looked through everything that this trunk contains.  I’ve looked at faces in pictures, most of whom I don’t recognize; I’ve looked slips of paper with my birth-mother’s handwriting; I’ve read letters that have revealed surprises; I’ve touched her wedding dress, but never held it up to get a better look or tried it on the way I tried Mom’s on.

The second trunk is a Pandora’s box of sorts.  When I first received it I was reluctant to open it, yet it called to me like a siren calls to a sailing ship, and so I forced myself to take a deep breath and lift the heavy lid and smell the moth-ball scent that wafted from within.

I was surprised to find that having in my posession all of these items that belonged to the woman who gave birth to me meant little. Perhaps I hoped that I would find the essence of who she was and was disappointed when it wasn’t there.

I remember being somewhat numb and disappointed as I looked through the trunk, about to give up, when I found something in the bottom that I knew was meant for me to have.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Cliff hanger!

    I loved the way you built this up, Linda. I can feel your emotion.

  2. This is touching and riveting.

    Thanks so much,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  3. What was it? Can't wait to find out! I really want my husband to make a trunk for each of my girls so I can start putting keepsake stuff in.

  4. What a tease you are!!! 🙂

  5. I find your thoughts really interesting that you felt little when you opened the new one up. Hmmm. I'm writing now in my WIP about a man who opens a trunk to find that his father really wasn't his father. Your list of what you found helped!

  6. Oh, you are so fortunate to have those things . . . my bio mother is alive and we stay in touch and I have but a couple of photos from my baby years with her and a few others of her….nothing else.

  7. I'm hanging on the edge too. You will tell, right?

    How convenient, to have all those memories in one place. Mine are strewn all over and integrated into the fabric of my decor and life. I see them often, but never have the full impact of seeing them all at once as they come out of hiding. I too have felt the "so what?" feeling of encountering relics of people I didn't know well. Interesting.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.