(211) In Another Life

image imageYesterday was the day we finally did it.  Eight plastic drawers that have followed us here from Ohio, and were moved again when we went from apartment to condominium here in Fort Myers. Eight plastic drawers in a room hardly used, just part of the furniture. Eight plastic drawers filled with…junk.

Yes, it is ridiculous.  My husband has threatened dumping them for years and I always resisted.  Now I’m glad because I found a use for them in my classroom. Finally got motivated to dig through the who-knows-what to prepare to take these babies to school.

Yes, we filled an entire garbage bag with what we found in these drawers.  I did find some great stuff I can use at school, some things I wished I had in the past and wondered where they were (in the plastic drawers, duh!)  Jim found a few items he can sell on e-Bay.

And then I found a few items that brought back the past.  One in particular — my Day Timer.

Back in the day, the Day Timer was the ultimate business person’s item. Everyone had one. Everything that meant anything was written in the Day Timer. I had a beautiful burgundy leather holder for my Day Timer with my initials in the corner — a gift from Jim our first Christmas together. Inside I found the booklet for the last month I used the Day Timer — April 1996.  And tons of tons of business cards, including some of my own (see photo for HMS Gardens photo from when we had an herb business!)

This was definitely another life. In early 1996, our teenage grandson Jeff came to live with us, which is why my Day Timing days ended.  Being on the speed-dial of the principal filled my days. And when Jeff went to rehab. And jail. Crazy days, a lifetime ago.

What struck me the most is something that I had forgotten all about. I used to carry little inspirational things in my Day Timer. When I was waiting for appointments, I would pull out my little motivations. I had several of these, but of all the things in that leather carry-all, I only kept three items. They are above on the right.

One is a card with the Guardian Angel prayer on the back. This is the first prayer we were taught in first grade at St. Mark’s, and the last prayer I said with my dad before he died. Powerful. It will now be carried in my purse at all times.

A little mauve piece of paper had a prayer of sorts typed out. This was a message that came to me one day when I was praying:

Keep in the light, Helen.

See the miracles at work in your life.

Don’t ever let go.

Be steadfast in your beliefs.

Be kind.


Be loving.


A leader.


(November 20,1991)

The other piece I am keeping is an index card. It has a quote from two women I adore for their writing and their wisdom:

The secret of great confidence is trying very, very hard not to overreach. — Nora Ephron

I love my creative life more than I love cooperating with my own oppression — Clarissa Pinkola Estes

These three little pieces from my life long ago will now travel with me. My leather cell phone case seems to be the perfect place for them. May I remember to visit them often for the inspiration they contain.


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