Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hope Chest.

The smell of cedar is overwhelming. Sickly sweet.

First, come Christmas stockings. Eight of them, woven, with embroidered names. Picking them up in my hands, I remember how the Christmas goodies would catch and snag on the threads inside. But the orange fit so perfectly in the toe. And peanuts, which always ended up abandoned in a bowl. Left for my father to eat.

More stockings, but only 7 this time. Red felt, with cut out felt shapes glued, untidy, on the front. Names with glitter on glue. I remember sitting at the table in an olive green kitchen and choosing the shapes for my own stocking: a reindeer, a bell, and a star.

A wedding dress, the satin with a slightly yellowed sheen. An a-line ball gown gown with a tiny waist. Long sleeves. Dust on the hemline from my mother's wedding reception. Beneath the gown, the veil--brittle with time.

Christening outfits. Baby blankets. Elementary school projects. A pair of tiny toddler cowboy boots. A Marine dress coat, cut to fit like a glove.

Going through my mother's hope chest is to step back in time. Filled with her hopes fulfilled. Reflecting years of my own hopes...
to wear a dress like this.
To marry a man like that.
To fill my arms with babies.
To hide their blankets in my own hope chest.

Which stands against the wall of my own room now.

Christening gowns. Baby dolls. Faded, dried roses. Graduation caps and tassels.

The smell of cedar, sickly sweet.


Denise said...

Very nice. Thank you.

RaT Babies said...

I really need to get me a hope chest.