So today Roger had to go to the attic - so I thought while he was up there I would get a box of clothes for Quinn. This box had been packed up when Hayley was four, in hopes that another girl would grace our doorway and be able to wear all the cute clothes.
What I did not prepare myself for is that when the Rubbermaid container was opened, a stream of memories would pour out and engulf me for a great portion of the afternoon.
These clothes came from a time when it was only Hayley and me. First item out was a pair of chocolate brown corduroy overalls. Hayley was obsessed with pink and these overalls just did not cut it as far as she was concerned as there was not a pink thread in site. So I sewed Ric-rack ribbon throughout all the top bibbing, as well as added pink buttons. She wore them all the time.
Now they were in my hand, and in one of the pockets was the button that I took off to put on the pink ones. I still remember that day, we were fed, bills were paid, but no money. It was like this every month, but yet, I did not care. We did bead necklaces, we read books, she learned to ride her bike inside the apartment, we ate at the kiddie craft table, and we were happy. These overalls held all these positive memories, and now, hopefully Quinn will wear them and create new memories in them
Throughout the entire tote were items of clothing such as this one. A skirt that Hayley wore every day that it was clean. A t-shirt that said "I love mom", a purple vest, her preschool coat (this one had NO buttons!), her LUGZ boots that were a hand-me-down from the boy next door, her "DR. SUESS" stripy pants, and a pretty summer dress. Quinn went through the box in amazement that they were Hayley's , and also that now they are hers.
Quinn has worn a lot of Hayley's hand me downs. This is not the first box of treasures that came down and were used again. Yet, somehow, this one hit me right square in the heart.
I think of how lucky that I am. How blessed I am. I was not a single parent to Hayley for long. She still saw her dad, but at this time, neither he nor I were on speaking terms. I met Roger, and in time, we had Quinn. Both Hayley's dad and I learned to forgive each other.
I am blessed with two great girls. With food in my fridge. With the bills paid. With a small amount of money in my account between paydays. I am blessed with good health. With two girls that are the center of each other lives. I am blessed to hold hands with my best friend every day. I wear my past as a badge of honor. I am strong. Strong enough to leave a relationship that I knew was fruitless. Strong enough to trust someone with my heart again.
I am blessed with memories, both good and bad. They encompass my heart and soul, and without them I would be a shell of a person. They made me who I am.
Funny how it took a Rubbermaid tote for me to revisit these memories, and see how I have come to peace with them.
A trip to the attic created a trip down memory lane.