Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February BJP

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.

19 comments:

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

you're right...i did need a hanky. what wonderful, heartfelt memories. thank you for sharing them with us. your jar is a beautiful, wonderful tribute.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I'm sitting here with tears. Thank you for sharing this very personal story with us - what wonderful memories you have. You have made and written a tribute to someone who was quite obviously a special man.

Lora said...

OH Dot!!! This is a beautiful post!

abeadlady said...

Good thing you gave us warning. It really was a tear jerker. My Aunt and Uncle and my Grandmother lived in the LA area when I was small. I remember how it was then. Thanks for sharing the good memories.

Carol said...

That was a multiple hanky tale but so lovely at the same time. You had a wonderful Daddy (as did I) and he died too young (as did mine) and I know you miss him very much (as I do mine...). You have made my night with your story because I can relate so much to it. Thank you!

Lois2037 said...

What a beautiful treasure! Thank you for sharing so many of your wonderful memories.

Carol said...

Hi Dot
The time beading these jars probably flies by, bringing back all these memories for you. I never tried thinking of my first memory. The oldest I think about is in kindergarten. I'm glad you have such warm family memories.
xx, Carol

Barbara said...

Very touching, and the jar lid is beautiful.

Cyndi L said...

Dot, this is a fantastically moving tribute to your beloved father. No matter how many years go by, you'll continue to think of him and honor him each time you see this beadwork. Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us.

Penny said...

This is beautiful and what a tribute to the memories of your Father. As I get older I try to impart to those younger than I that they think of their life as 'making memories' -- and your BJP is a perfect example of taking those memories out and capturing them creatively.

Dees said...

Oh Dot, this is such a loving story! Thank you for sharing these precious early childhood memories. I could see them unfold like watching a movie.

Kaite said...

Beautiful and meaningful beading Dot, and the story is very heart warming. K.

JoTee said...

Very lovely story, I miss my dad to, he went to heaven a way to soon.
Thank you for sharing
hugs

Plays with Needles said...

I love the image of your daddy at the top of the mountain with the sun behind him and your little legs running -- and I could just imagine him throwing back his head and howling with laughter while the tears poured down his cheeks.

Beautiful Dot. Just like you.

Barb said...

What a beautiful post. Obviously very close to the heart.

Julie said...

Oh what a touching story. Im so glad you remember as well as you do. Its a beautiful piece and Im sure it has a mixture of emotions around it. All are important. Julie C

Robin said...

These jars are something else, Dot! My goodness, they open such a floodgate of memories. Treasures they hold, indeed! Interesting to me that it can take a good counselor many, many appointments to dig down to early childhood memories, while beading and handling real objects can bring them forward quite quickly. I feel priviledged to read this post! Thanks!

Robin A.

Veleta (Sammy) said...

Dot, thank you so much for sharing about your dad with us all.. I don't cry to often anymore, but this brought me to tears of my own memories of both my mom who died 35 years ago and my day 5yrs ago.. Memories may bring tears but also you feel the love you have for them and they had for you... Again thank you Dot...

Ellen said...

Oh Dot what wonderful memories & you tell such a lovely story.. Made me think of my own dear Dad who left us much too soon.