I have a little wooden sign on my bathroom counter that’s painted to look like the sun. It reads: “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” This message is by Roald Dahl, the children’s book author, and every day when I brush my teeth I glance at the sign and think of my friend, Robin.
Robin left this gift in our home while housesitting shortly after we suffered the unexpected loss of our cat Poupon. At the time I was in tough shape, devastated by his death, and Robin’s kindness served as a tender balm for my wounded heart. Back then, whenever I read the quote, her thoughtfulness was like a ray of light in my dark tunnel of grief.
This morning, while brushing my teeth, I read the message for the umpteenth time and thought about how I love Robin. I’ve probably had this thought hundreds of times, too.
In my silverware drawer, there’s a spoon with the name Lucy engraved on the handle in a fancy, dainty script. It belonged to an elderly friend I cared for (and about) in the nineties and when she died, the spoon became a treasured memento. I still think of Lucy every time I make tea.
There’s an hourglass that sits prominently on a table in my office and often when I walk by, I turn it over and think of our friend Ileen who gave us this gift years ago. It’s a potent symbol of the limited nature of time here on Earth and it also makes me think about how much I love Ileen.
It’s a wonderful thing to be surrounded by objects that make us feel close to the people we care about. They’re like calling cards that tug at our sleeves inviting us to stay connected to who and what really matters throughout the course of our daily lives.
While I tend toward a different kind of gift-giving these days – fewer things and more experiences, my reaction to these objects inspire me to share the items I hold dear with those I love. Especially in my wisdom years. How lovely to pass on souvenirs of love and a life well-lived.