I still remember an art project in 7th grade. I don’t have the art project; it has to live in my memory. It was my very favorite piece of all my school projects and my teacher blew it up in the kiln. Gone. Overnight, all my hard work and pride blew apart into little pieces that now hang in my memory as what the piece actually was. It was an abstract sculpture of my initials, but the fact that it’s gone makes it live in grandeur in my head. It probably wasn’t really that great.
Today, it’s exactly one year since Catherine’s surgery and I find myself thinking about that art project. The surgery anniversary really has nothing to do with the art project, but I realized the date and sometimes things like that make Catherine’s world more real to me. So much is happening in our lives right now, that it’s nearly impossible to think back to that day of surgery. But I do. And in nearly the same moment, I think ahead to a move we’re getting ready to make. We’re finally moving from the 850 square foot house that’s enclosed our little family for ten years into a big, spacious 3000 square foot open floorplan that will immediately enable us to exhale. But first, we have to pack.
I glanced around the kitchen this morning and caught a bottle filled with colored sand on the stove. You remember the type. The bands of color fill the bottle – red, yellow, white, blue, purple, green, orange – over and over. A label on the bottle says, “Catherine, Summer, 2011.” And I thought for a second, “Well, I can trash that so we don’t have to move it.” And in nearly the same thought, I recalled my 7th grade project.
What if this is Catherine’s sculpture? What if she had the best time making it and she remembers the feeling of the gritty sand? Maybe they put fragrance in the color and she thinks about that. Maybe this is something meaningful to her. I paused for a moment because I don’t know. And I don’t know if or when I’ll ever know whether anything is meaningful to her or not.
So, do I pack it? Or throw it in the trash?