Strollin’ with my homies.

I learned something pretty valuable on Wednesday. I wanted to be specific about remembering the day, because I learned that I had made up some pretty specific things about my history, thinking that what I was pulling from the stories here and there was the truth. I learned that I needed to burn a new spot in my mind and in my heart for the real truth, and a new memory.

The specifics that I remembered weren’t correct. So I asked about them. And boy was it a stroll down memory lane.

They were simple things, like what our family was like before I was born. Was I loved? Was I wanted? Were they happy that I was added into our family?

Their memories of where we lived.

Memories of when we traveled.

There’s so much history and richness and so much, well, very unboring stuff. And I was loved and wanted and there was happiness. Sometimes we wonder that. I never want my children to wonder that.

When I was 5 months old, my family moved to the Dominican Republic for a couple of years. While there are incredible, horrifying, beautiful, and life changing stories about living there, those memories melted into perfect nostalgia when my brother-in-law told my sister about a box he had found in the loft above my parents’ garage. When my oldest son pulled it down, my sister began picking through each item carefully and wondering what had been so special about some items to make it into the box, but remembering exactly why others were so special. Honestly, I could watch people pick through their own keepsakes like that for hours and hours, just to watch their faces and their eyes and their skin shift and change as they remember.

One item caught my attention.

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Sweet Mother of Pearl. I wanted it.

I knew it had an awesome history.

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I can’t even imagine the sights it saw; my Mom carried it throughout the Dominican Republic during just one of their volatile times.

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She had mercy on me and said I could have it. :) Though there questions like, “For what?!”

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I smiled.

Just to have it.

Hold it.

Smell it.

Breathe it in.

To imagine.

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To have what they had. To hold what they held. To wonder how often that strap hung from their necks, what kind of dust it gathered, and what things it could tell me if it could.