I’m not a hoarder, but there are just some things I don’t/won’t get rid of. For example, I keep all the handmade birthday and Mother’s Day cards I get from my husband and son. It’s our tradition—we take existing family photos and put them in the card with goofy captions. They are sarcastic, irreverent and sometimes ridiculous. But I cherish them completely. And I have a file drawer filled with them. I keep way too many emails and I used to keep all the Christmas cards I received, until I ran out of room. I also keep boxes, but that’s another story.
And since Feb. 15, 2007, I have kept a very special voice message on my cell phone. It’s my son, at age 9, calling me as my husband and I vacationed in San Francisco. “Hi mom and dad,” he starts out, haltingly, in his high-pitched voice before it changed, “just wanted to know if you got to San Francisco easily.”
He knows a lot about cities, landmarks and such. It’s one of the things he’s interested in.
“Hope you see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Father Serra at the Golden Gate Park of San Francisco. Well, I hope you have fun there and I’ll see you on Sunday. Thanks. Bye.”
Ahh, such innocence. So many memories come alive with that brief message.
Just the other day I played it for my husband. He broke into tears hearing the little boy’s voice from the past. “What’s that from?” he asked incredulously, wiping his eyes.
I told him that I couldn’t bear to erase that message. That I’ve been re-saving it for years. One of these days, I’ll record it or something, onto another device. But until then, it will remain in my saved voice message box. Along with one from Joey Travolta [John’s brother]. I kid you not.
Can you blame me for keeping his message? My son’s, that is. I’m so glad I never erased it. Right at my fingertips I can hear how far we’ve come. And as we prepare for his ITP, this is just what I need when I feel this transition to adulthood is going too fast for my liking. I just hit the replay button and hear gentle words and a tiny voice from the past. And I always have a tissue ready.