Tonight I’ve been opening old boxes and sorting through things I haven’t seen in years. One box alone seemed to be a mini-version of This is Your Life. How these things ended up all together is strange but lovely to discover:
- My father’s eulogy for my Grandpa Russ. He died in 1992, and my dad was brave enough to stand before us and honor his father even though it was so hard for him to do. My grandpa was much beloved, and my dad’s tribute to him is beautiful. My dad was an excellent writer, and I had not expected to be so moved in the midst of throwing out old newspapers and ancient bank statements.
- My passport from 1984 when I was headed to Japan for a month at the age of 17. I look all of 13 in that picture. Tucked inside is a copy of my birth certificate. I hadn’t been able to find it several years ago and ordered a new one. As soon as I saw it I recognized the slant of the handwriting and the feel of the paper. I’m glad to have the original back.
- My high school varsity letter with pins from track, volleyball, basketball, cross country, softball, band, and choir.
- My program and collection of academic papers from an amazing week at the Oxford Round Table at Oxford University in 2007. I had the privilege of sitting with a room full of American professors discussing religion in British and American literature. All of our sessions were held at Rhodes College where we sat with a bust of Rhodes looking over us, and in the other rooms were the many portraits of all the Rhodes Scholars of note over the years, including Bill Clinton. Outside of our “academic” time we explored Oxford, told stories in front of the fires of centuries-old pubs, walked the streets where Darwin, C.S. Lewis, and Lewis Carroll and so many others walked, and stood in awe of the intellectual excellence all around us.
What a blessed life I have.