Yesterday while I was unpacking, I found a box I had not seen in quite some time, in fact, I had all but forgotten about it. Not quite, I had thought about it a while ago, but I did forget about the contents of the box.
The box is made of wood more than 100 years old, handcrafted with love and care, and it plays “I will Always Love You”. I remember when it was made for me by the stepfather of my other; he made it was because he liked me instantly and had always had a strong disdain for the previous wife of my other. The box was a symbolic welcome to the family.
I know it took him hours to construct; the hardware alone took him time to find exactly what he wanted.
While I was sorting through boxes I had not seen in almost 15 months (some years longer than that), I came across my little box; I recognized it instantly. I smiled when I remembered how much I had been thought of at the time when it was made for me. However, as soon as I opened the box, my heart dropped; the contents of the box flooded my mind and my heart with a pain I was not prepared to endure.
There were only three things in the box: my other’s class ring, a diamond necklace he had given me, and a breast cancer pin.
It seems silly to be my age and to have a class ring hold so much significance; however, it means so much to him so it means so much to me. The fact that he once loved me so much that he entrusted me to have a ring that he has had since the early 1980s, when the most important things in life were Lettermen’s jackets, class rings, cool cars, and prom dates… at least in his world.
The diamond necklace was one of so many gifts he gave me I do not even know where to begin, other than the fact that when it was given to me, I was ungrateful because I am certain I would have preferred more diamonds. It was in the box because the chain was broken. I was that way with every gift he gave me. Ungrateful.
As for the breast cancer pin, it is a complete conundrum; I do not know where it came from, or why it is in the box. The strangest coincidence about the three items represented in the box is that, his mother has breast cancer. I would have not known that when I put those items in there, as I have not seen that box for at least five years…
I spent the rest of my evening thinking about how ungrateful I had been with his generosity over the years: when he gave me a $300 portable DVD player for my birthday, I had wanted a new laptop; when I got a Fanch Ledan for my office, I wanted the Fabien Perez; when I got a new Tiffany necklace, I had wanted a $30,000 diamond engagement ring… it never ended.
As I continued unpacking, I threw away boxes of ruined Bath & Body Works lotion, body spray, and body wash because it went rancid from being in storage. I thought about the monthly trips where we would spend no less than $150 a month so I could buy whatever I wanted to smell good and have soft skin. I threw away bags of countless dollars of skin care products purchased at high-end makeup counters because they were outdated and sour.
There was no end to his generosity and my spoiled behavior. I always said “Thank you”. I felt it.
But I think it fell flat.
I look at that class ring now; I feel it in my fingers, imagine him wearing it, think of him giving it to me, imagine him loving me… and remember.
As an aside, I had not always been so bratty and spoiled; in fact, I had never been treated this way before, never had anybody buy me things, love me, or want to do anything for me. I truly did not know how to behave.
Fanch Ledan “Interior With Max” hanging in my apartment