Saturday, April 8, 2017

When Life Fits In A Box

This box has been around for as long as I can remember...literally. My mother got this box from her brother, who by the way drank a lot of this particular brand. Neither of my parents ever drank (once again)...literally.

 I'm not sure why they never bought photo albums to put all our family pictures in, they were all kept in this box.

When Tim and I went back to clean out the garage of our old house I spent about four hours going through three boxes of things my Diddy had saved over the years.

It was an emotional roller coaster.

I found years' worth of Sunday School lessons and talks he'd given at church and a nursing home where he and his best friend, Putt volunteered once a week.  Putt (worst singer ever) led the singing and Diddy gave the talks. My daughter put them all in chronological order today and it spanned three decades.

I can still vividly remember him, when I was young... sitting at our kitchen table to write them in his back handed lefty penmanship.

Life doesn't get any better than having Frank and Ann Leach for parents.

Seems they felt the same way about having each other.

He had also saved the card he gave my mother on their 25th wedding anniversary.

I sat in the garage of our old house, surrounded by the boxes, memories and dust of my life as I opened the envelope... strangely enough with my daughter's reversed name written on it.

As I read the card out loud to myself, my voice began to quiver after reading the first sentence.

My wish is for my own three kids to feel as lucky as I do.

The memories continued at the bottom of the Busch box.

My brother and sister's first baby shoes and the bands identifying them in the hospital after being born.

I was pretty sure I may have been the "oops" baby and by that time were tired of saving all our stuff.

I was hands down one ugly baby.

Age didn't improve me much. Okay, this first one below isn't so bad...but wait.


Then when they probably thought I couldn't look worse, I did.

It even continued to haunt me into my high school years but at least by then had some meat on my bones.

I hope they didn't pay a lot for my school pictures.

I remember the year our son, Zach took the worst school picture ever. I found the packet to order them in his backpack. They had options starting at a twenty five dollar package, going up to a seventy five dollar package.

I circled his photo, wrote by it "Are you freaking kidding me..." sent the package back, after keeping the free ID card just to have something to chuckle about and ordered nothing.

Even better was the way he had filled out the emergency ID info on the back of his card.

For Pete's sake, the kid was fourteen and didn't know how to spell "dirty"?


Not to mention his distinguishing features:

"Ugly,  thin,  fast."

I think this was the year I decided we were really Clampetts.

Hour three into the box and half in the bag by then, discovered a Thank You note from our childhood pediatrician written to our mother. It was dated December 1976.

None of us kids were even going to him anymore by then but our momma still hand delivered a tin of homemade cookies and treats every Christmas to his office.

This letter was dated "Christmas Day 1976."

This man, our childhood doctor...  sat down on Christmas Day and penned a letter in his hard to read physician's scrawl to our momma, thanking her.

Compliments don't get much better than that.

The first thing I thought about was... this letter had been just written eight months before my mother's sudden death.

The second thing I thought about was his last sentence:

"May 1977 bring you and those fine children of yours, all that is good."

You know... 1977 didn't turn out all that great for us... but our two parents already made sure we had "all that is good."

We had them.

My life was contained in this in dusty, often shoved around and sometimes forgotten (but never lost) box, with all the photos, all the letters and cards and all the memories.

Going through this box of my life made me more importantly, realize what a cry baby I've been since moving to Orlando.

With all the ups and downs and all the uncertainty life throws my way...I'm still lucky.

I'm a Leach and couldn't be attached to a better clan.

Sometimes life kicks you in the pants.

I've had highs and lows and even sometimes felt like my pants were kicked and ripped beyond repair.

Nothing will ever be the same.

Always remember the past and cherish it dearly.

Life is all about change and moving ahead.

Cleaning out our old house and re discovering all these memories has made me realize...

I'm the one in control of my own destiny (with help from Above) and if where I came from has any indication or any part to do with it, is ridiculous to ever think I'd ever be a failure in life.

I'm already a loud mouth...and may be why.

I'm meant to be heard.

Laughter is my method of choice. Writing is my form of expressing it. The good, the bad and the ugly.

My life is my life. I can hate it or be depressed by it... or embrace it.


This blog, this exact point in my life is absolutely my catharsis.

Webster's defines it and  my blogging all too well:

"A purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, esp. as an effect of tragic drama. The relief of tension and anxiety by bringing re-pressed feelings and fears to consciousness."

So I'm getting  a little older and may take me a bit longer...but at least am still getting it.

Maybe Pink Floyd was right after all. (my favorite album of all time)


Don't be afraid to care.

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