We found this time capsule when we moved in March of this year.
When we put it together, my sons were 2 and 2 months old. I can still see us at midnight on that new year of the new millennium. I bought this thing somewhere, and thought it would be fun to open in 15 years, when we were all the same, except older. Long time readers of this blog know so many roads have led us out of the family, the home, the jobs.
So today. It’s 15 years later, and the boys and I decided to open it. I remembered some American Express cards, because we were never going to charge money again. I remember nothing else.
I was not prepared for what we unearthed.
Pictures. Of me pregnant. “I can’t unsee this.” Laughter, as we read about what life was like in 1999. Coloring pictures. Dreams we thought would come true. A menu from New China Restaurant, which is essentially the same. The Modesto Bee warning of the US illegals. The 25 most influential People Magazine.
Their Dad wrote them each a letter. We read them out loud. I looked up to see both boys sobbing. Unknowing this would happen. We’ve gone through all this before, and processed as a family. And, I was looking at two little boys who were transported to childhood. To Thomas The Tank Engine and poopy diaper conversations. To my sons reading that their Dad had big hopes for them to love Jesus, and to always set some money aside But more than that. They were looking at history and proof of how much their Dad loved them. And still does. His Southern League medals. His grandfather’s watch. A Beanie Baby from Ducks Unlimited. A Ducks Unlimited magazine.
My letters were opened. I remember writing them, and I was too busy to get very emotional at the time, but I said we thought my youngest would play football (true), and my oldest would be an author or a professor (not happening). I then had a letter from their father, my ex husband. I asked if I should open it, since so much has happened. They said yes, and so I did. Even at that age of our marriage, it was difficult. But one thing was evident, I absolutely needed to share this with my boys. He said in his letter that he would marry me all over again, and would ask me to marry him in a duck blind again, and would never forget certain things that only he and I shared. I cried, and my boys smiled, as if somewhere in their psyche they remembered their Mom and Dad loving each other.
And he wrote: I love watching Lukas when you come back from “talking to the people” (I had a private therapy practice). He said that when I would come home from work, Lukas would see me in the driveway and would say, “There’s Mom. She said she’d come back, and I knew she would.” I looked up to both boys in the midst of this emotional and intense moment, and I was able to say,
“I will always come back.”
I type this now with tears in my eyes. I look at that 40 year old woman with such amusement. I didn’t know all that would come. And I suppose you’re not supposed to feel this joy, but I did. I don’t love him anymore. I used to, and I would not marry him again, nor would he marry me. But at that moment, my kids who were scarred by a scathing divorce and subsequent understanding of things no teenagers should have to know, were suddenly transported to that place when their parents loved each other. What a gift.
My kids had chores to do. They are going to a party tonight together. We then talked about parties, and what happens if you’re not on point. Driving. How if they had to give each other their passwords for their phones. How if I text WRU (Where are you), they are to give me the iPhone detail from their phone within a minute (I won’t do that…). How you always need a $20 bill in your wallet for emergencies.
They got up. We hugged. They want to take this time capsule to their Dad, and of course, I said yes. They were excited to share with him in a way I haven’t seen in awhile.
I’m happy and sad to leave 2014. My son won his Soccer League Championships, and my other son was able to play on Varsity Football playoffs, even for a few plays. I turned 55. My Dad was inducted into the University Of Idaho Hall of Fame for Engineering. I coached my first marathoner, but ran my last one. I started out doing therapy in a rehab, and finished by teaching fourth grade. Some of the people I love the most drank and used, and got sober again. People left and entered my life, as only members of our program understand. I moved into my dream house, but my running lagged.
And 2014. This will mark the last year that my sweet nephew lived, and I feel like I’m leaving him behind. Guilty. Please come back. Please come with.
So, here’s the thing about Time Capsules. They are meant to show a moment in your life. That’s it. Proof that you existed, had feelings, loved greatly, had hopes and dreams realized or yet unrealized. Proof that after all is said and done, your heart at one time cared for people in a way that no longer is evident. Proof that your love got bigger, more intense, richer. Proof that you will absolutely love again. And then you realize that you are on this exact dot on the map because of all the twists and turns that brought you here, and there is no sadness, only excitement, because you know the best is yet to come.
Gratitude. Love. Friendships. Sobriety.
The moment that we had an hour ago? It’s gone. It lives forever in this blog post…and it make me want More. More Joy. More Mistakes. More Love. More Life.
My wish for 2015. More.