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My Wooden Box

Short Story by: E Cluff

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Beside my bed is a beautiful wooden box, the wood is the color of warm honey...

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Submitted: May 18, 2010

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Content

Submitted: May 18, 2010

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Beside my bed is a beautiful wooden box, the wood is smooth, the design simple, it is the color or warm honey. The lid of the box is hinged, inlaid with a 3 x 5 piece of glass that becomes a horizontal picture frame. This is my death box. The box didn't start out this way; it just evolved into a keepsake box for my painful remembrances. Morbid, I know.

My box contains a letter I received from my father when I was sixteen, the letter arrived a week after his death. He spoke to me in that letter with a voice I had never heard before. My father wasn't sick, his death was completely unexpected at the age of 51, but somewhere in his consciousness he must have known. He told me in that letter that I had always been his plum.

My box contains the ashes and collar of my beloved dog, Elias. I jokingly referred to him as my first child; he was my pet and companion for thirteen years. There is a second collar that belonged to Buster, a dog that we rescued. This dog was a love sponge that lapped up every moment of life with us until he had to be put down. He was diagnosed with bone cancer.

My mother's keys are in my box and a gold cross necklace that she was wearing when she died. I have poems I have written, scriptures written on index cards, notes from my sister, pictures of Elias, and the ring I received for my ten year wedding anniversary from my previous marriage. All these things represent something that has died in my life that I'm still grieving over in some way.

The picture in the frame is of Lesley and me sitting in the park above the house where she used to live. We are smiling, sitting so close together that our bodies touch. The sun is shining golden light all around us. It is wintertime in Southern California; we are wearing sweatshirts and sneakers. I am twenty-four years old and she is thirty-two and we have all of life sprawled out ahead of us like the yellow brick road promising a wonderful adventure. And the truth is, it has been wonderful, painful, yes, but so very wonderful, too.

Lately I've been thinking it's time to unload my box, the problem is I just don't want to let go. When I spoke to my husband about my dilemma, he said it's not the box I need to let go of, not the good things, just the pain, just the guilt, just the things that really aren't true anymore and maybe never were. I love that man. He is a "horse whisperer" by trade, but a "people whisperer" by intuition. He speaks to my spirit with a voice so gentle and soft I can actually hear what he says.

I am blessed.


© Copyright 2016 E Cluff. All rights reserved.

My Wooden Box

Status: Finished

Genre: Memoir

Houses:

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Status: Finished

Genre: Memoir

Houses:

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Beside my bed is a beautiful wooden box, the wood is the color of warm honey...

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