I grew up with practical parents.
A mother, God bless her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it.
She was the original recycle queen before they had a name for it.
A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.
Both of them always used to to tell me,"You think money grows on trees?"
Their marriage was good, their dreams focused.
Their best friends lived barely a wave away.
I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress.
It was the time for fixing things.
A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, anything that needed fixing.
Things we keep.
It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy.
All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful.
Waste meant affluence.
Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.
But then my mother died, and on that clear October night, in the warm air outside the hospital, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.
No matter how much you want it.
Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return...
While we have it..... it's best we love it.... And care for it.
And fix it when it's broken.
And heal it when it's sick.
This is true.
And old cars.....
And children with bad report cards.......
And irritating siblings.....
And dogs with bad hips.....
And aging parents......
We keep them because they are worth it,
AND because we are worth it.
Some things we keep.
Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.
There are just some things that make life important, like people we know
who are special........
And so, we keep them close!