My godmother sent me her late husband’s scarf for my birthday. Jack passed away several years ago; he had been waiting for, and then had a liver transplant that did not take. i *do* remember Jack wearing it. I will wear the scarf with the strength and power and perseverance that Jack lived his life with. it is both hugely emotional for me to receive this from her, and for her to give it. and it is probably, in a certain way, cathartic. memory is hard. especially the sweet ones that we want to hold on to, but have to move on from.
i have a box that has three stuffed animals that my ex-girlfriend and I used to play with. they all had names and characters, and histories and personalities. i don’t want to let go of those memories, but at the same time i can’t impose that on someone coming afterwards. and those memories have turned so bittersweet. (and not like all the chocolate i got for my birthday). she is an *ex* for a reason, despite the funny scenarios she could concoct with two stuffed tigers and a dog. maybe some day i will find someone to give them to, and show them their personalities and their voices. (they all have very distinct voices!)
My aunt sent me a scarf for my birthday last year. She had begun knitting extensively when she started chemo for lung cancer. The scarf arrived late, in mid january. That was almost exactly the time I first went to the dermatologist to ask him to look at the bump on my calf. It is amazing the power we can attach to clothing: sometimes I think of that scarf as her way of warning me. Or of welcoming me.