Sifting through faded papers

by tamarjacobson

Yesterday morning I woke out of a dream that sent me to my box of old, faded memory papers: cards from loved ones; marriage or divorce documents; pieces of journals that I kept as a reminder of history and personal progress that grew out of those old stories; especially memorable photographs or poems; old report cards from my earliest childhood years; and a tassel from my doctoral graduation. I found the answer to my dream in that old box. It lay there in a folder of cards and photographs from over a decade ago. Not that long ago. But as I rummaged through, I discovered that period of my life is still such a part of me. Locking it away in a box does not drive it out of my memory. For, there it was in my dream the night before, disguised as something else, of course, as dreams can sometimes do. But there it was nevertheless. I am always intrigued by what triggers my brain to bring back feelings from times gone by. Such a mystery! I knelt on the carpet up on the third floor in my study, holding the card in my hand, papers, and photographs strewn around me as I searched for answers to my dream. As I worked my way through the folder, I came upon these words in one of the cards written to me:

What a loving friend you have been over the years, especially when I needed you to be there for me, you were. I could count on you – always (Even my neglected plants could). I don't know how I would have gotten through this past year without your friendship.

While it made me nostalgic and longing, even a bit regretful about the decisions I had made (or not made) at the time, it also gave me peace, realizing now – which I was unable to understand then – that I was loved and gave love in return.