I have to warn you that you just MIGHT have to consider getting a handkerchief for this posting.
My February jar has a very old secret treasure put into it. While going through my old jewelry box I found a necklace and earrings for a child. I could not remember who gave it to me. I found a picture of me wearing the necklace, but it was hard to remember if it was my Grandfather, Father, or Uncle who gave this to be as I believe I was around 2 years old when the picture was taken. I took it to my Mother to find out who presented this piece to me. She took it out of my hands and rubbed her fingers over the crystal stone. Then she told me it was a present from my Father when I was 2 years old. She told me that I wore it all the time, and eventually she was afraid I'd lose it so she put it away for me until I was 10. Then she only gave me the bracelet.
Suddenly a memory of the bracelet burst into my head. It was back in 1964 at Cogswell Elementary school in El Monte California. It was recess and all the girls in my class loved the play hop scotch. Each girl had a special keep sake we used as a marker. I was jealous of the pretty chains they all had, so one day I brought my bracelet and used it. It brought me luck as I won every single time making it up and down with ease. The school bell rang, and we all picked up our markers putting them in our pockets and raced to get in line to go back into the classroom. On the way home, I put my hand in the pocket and brought out the bracelet. I stopped and my breath left my body. The stone was missing. I ran back to the playground and searched the area looking for the stone. It was no where to be found. So I had to go home. I was in a horrible fear as I went to my Mother and told her what I did. She didn't scold me but told me that it was a good lesson for me to learn about taking care of my possessions and making sure they didn't get lost or broken. I started to cry thinking she'd tell Daddy, but she never did. She NEVER did. And I did learn to take care of things. I bet I'm not the only one that still has so many secret treasures, but I do have them in almost pristine condition.
My Mother then took the necklace and held it to her face. Then she gave it back to me and said she remembered how happy Daddy was when he put that necklace around my toddler neck all those years ago. My Dad has been gone now for 18 years. He died young from complications due to lung cancer. So finding out that this treasure was bought by him for me almost made me want to cry. But I didn't....that day. As I finished this beaded jar and picked up the necklace to put it safely away, another memory came to me. This was long ago back when I was around 3 1/2 years old. These are probably some of my very first memories. My first memory is of my Mother kissing me goodnight as I lay in a hospital bed waiting to get my tonsils taken out. My second memory is of me and my brother Jerry outside my Grandparent's house digging in the dirt. A taxi pulled up into the driveway, and my Mother came out of the house. She had a bag with her. She tried to knell, but she couldn't. She took my face and then Jerry's and told us to be good and not to go into the street and that Mrs. Sparks was coming as fast as she could to take care of us. We said okay and began to dig again. Mrs. Sparks was coming up the walk as the taxi took off with our Mother. She was on her way to the hospital to have my sister Cheryl.
My third memory was one that has always stayed with me and sometimes I'll even see it in my dreams. As I said before, we were all staying with my Grandparents when my sister Cheryl was born. My Mother did not want to have her baby in Los Angeles, so she had my Father bring her back to Ohio with Jerry and myself. I don't remember how long we were away from my Father, but I have all these postcards he sent to me. My Mother said that every day, I'd climb up on the banister outside my Grandmother's house waiting for the postman to bring me cards from my Daddy. Many of them had dogs or kittens on them, and they all have "Love Daddy" with lots of "x"s and "o"s. I would carry them in my little purse and bring them out whenever an adult would come to visit my Grandfather. I'd make people read them to me so much, that I knew them all by heart. Some were so worn out that you can't see the words, but there is always a hidden "Love" or "Daddy" there. I'd have to ask my Mother how long it was that we were in Ohio and he was alone in Los Angeles. But that third memory is the day I finally got to see him after so long. My Grandparent took all of us back to LA. I guess I was a little brat during the trip. I refused to stay in any hotel room that looked like a Doctor's office, so Grandpa would have to take me into the hotel room to see if I wouldn't throw a fit before he'd pay. I also must have busted the springs in the back of his Oldsmobile bouncing up and down not able to contain my excitement over seeing Daddy again. Then the moment came. We pulled up in front of the house. I don't know if you known Los Angeles back in the 60s very well, but many of the older homes sat up a small incline with a driveway beside them. My Grandfather stopped at the bottom of the driveway. I almost jumped out the window but my Mother caught me and made me wait until the door was opened. I didn't even straighten up my dress before I started to run up the "mountain" (to me it was very very tall ). There at the top of that "mountain" was my Daddy. The Sun was shining behind him so he looked to me like a glowing halo was surrounding him. I ran so hard to him crying his name. He knelt down with arms out. I ran into his arms covering his face with wet teary kisses. He picked me up and squeezed me so tight while tears rolled down his cheeks. He then threw back his head and laughed for joy. I never ever felt so loved in my life. I don't remember the rest of that day. I couldn't take my eyes off him as he laughed, cried, and hugged every single one of us. I remember him taking Cheryl from my Mother's arms and kissing her lightly on her eyelids. Then he held my Mother so tight and gave her such a kiss. He took all of us in his arms and told us he'd never let us be apart from him again. He didn't.
My jar lid is blue, because that was Daddy's favorite color. He surrounded himself with blues in every shade and hue. We all bought him blue shirts, blue pants, blue hats...blue blue blue. And he gave us love and protection until the moment he left this Earth. I miss my Daddy so much. I always will.