She grew up with practical parents. Her mother washed aluminum foil after use. She was the original recycle queen before there was a name for it. And her father was happier getting old shoes repaired than buying new ones. Their marriage was a good one, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a street away.
Their daughter and I were good friends and I can see them now … her Dad wearing jeans, a tee shirt and a floppy hat. Her mom usually wearing a house dress, dish-towel in one hand and a duster in the other. They loved repairing things. He fiddled with the kitchen radio, the screen door and even curtain rods.
This was their way of life and I found all that fixing, renewing and saving, strange. My parents were so different. My friend once told me that she wanted to be wasteful once, only one time, but to her parents, wasteful meant affluence, and that throwing things out meant that there’d always be more.
Then, my friend’s mother died and on that clear summer night, in the sterile hospital room, both my friend and I realized that sometimes, there simply isn’t ‘any more.’
Sometimes, what we care about most, gets all used up and goes away, never to return.
SO, while we have them, it’s best that we love and care for them, repair what’s broken, and – heal when when someone is ill.
This is true of marriage and of old cars, of children who bring home bad report cards, of dogs with bad hips as well as of aging parents and grandparents. We cherish them all because they are worth it.
Some things are best kept, like … a best friend who moved away or a classmate we grew up with.
There are things and people who make life worthwhile, like people we know who are special, and so, we keep them close.