Saturday, January 21, 2012


Ken brought home a box last week which her mom had set aside for him. He told me each kid had one.

Ken call it a Pandora's box. I call it a treasure box.

As I sort through the contents of the box, I was struck at how much information it gave me about my husband's past and what influenced or formed him who he is today.

Inside the box is his baby book, his "first" achievement records( first word, first solid food, first ride, first toy, etc.), his school notes and drawings, old pictures, and a lot more... its like a window into his past. A window into the spirit of his childhood. There are so much memories inside that box that are captured forever in pictures and scribbled notes.

But they don’t end there. Her mom had wonderfully chronicled Ken's achievements from toddler to young adulthood that we can both looked fondly back. There was an honorable and dignified shot of Ken receiving his first communion, the time he was an altar boy, when he was drafted to the army, and many more that elicit smile even from him as he looked through them.

There’s indeed something about memories that stirs and inspires the soul. I am sure glad that my mother-in-law took special effort to keep all these memorabilia of her seven kids as they are the most accessible and detailed physical forms of memories. It makes for easy reminiscing if one is in the mood. It may be bittersweet to gaze back at the past, as they have the power to conjure up memories. Sometimes painful, but it can be a joyful activity too. The box was filled with faces and places of times long gone.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then that box is worth a dictionary.

Ken just lost his mom. She may not be beside us again, but what she left us can help us at least momentarily feel close to her again. Not to mention that as mortals ourselves, we hope that our loved ones will look back at pictures of us with the same fondness after we pass on from this life.

Thank you Joan for this wonderful gift. You will always be remembered.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another funeral.

Today we buried Joan Roger Mikolai.

It was also her birthday.

She was 83 years old.

My mother-in-law died last Saturday. It was unfortunate that I did not get to know her well but from what I heard from people at the church, I knew that her life was rich, strong, and full of spirit and love.

The service was simple with her family and friends gathered round.


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