Cupped in our hands.
Desperate to feel them lingering there.
We cling to the treasures our loved ones leave behind.
Before that fateful moment, a toothbrush, was just a toothbrush…yet now it sits holding their place in this life.
We caress the mug they once held, where their lips touched to take that warm sip of coffee.
We remember their gaze, their profile, as they sat silently looking out the window, the warmth of the sun coming in to rest on their cheek.
That black, raggedy sweater. It wrapped him in warmth, comfort on a cold day. Now, it holds a sacred place in my closet wrapped tightly in a plastic bag so that I can come. Pause for a moment. Inhale in his scent. Even ten years later, his scent still lingers.
And I remember.
His hands. His touch.
His hair. His eyes.
His smile. His laughter.
It all comes back in a moment, in that single treasure – a flash of memory, reminding of us of our love for them. How our soul holds the tenderness of their spirit. Wrapped together as one.
The treasures left behind remind us that they never leave us. Their bodies may fade away, but they never leave us. Their spirit remains in the treasures left behind. They continue to share life with us.
My brother, oh my sweet, gentle brother, left many treasures for us. We sort. Catalogue. Sift. Give away some things that hold meaning for others. Hold close those things we are not yet ready to part with.
The boxes of music stacked high. His writings – scratchings of pencil to paper remain etched in the margins of the sheets of music that allowed his soul to sing. Those marks on paper, uniquely his. A treasure to me, his mom, his dad – I am sure he did not know the gift he was leaving behind.
We cup those sheets of music, breathing him in, hearing the notes he played to make the music come alive.
A newly discovered treasure…Videos of him playing on youtube. Ten years later. There he is. Tall, handsome, his crop of curly blonde hair marking his place on the stage.
Oh, what a treasure that is to see him swaying to the music, his bow streaming from side to side, his hands blurred in motion. I see his eyes closed, deep in a trance allowing the music to take him to places only he can know. This treasure remains, long after he is gone.
To see him play once more. My heart aches at the memory of his song.
An instrument left behind.
Made with His hands.
An appraisal gives it a price tag. Yet, this appraisal holds additional meaning for me. It is confirmation of my brother’s life. The Value of his life. I celebrate that another person values this treasure, too. They do not know how deeply thankful I am to have someone else value his talent, his skill, his life.
With passion, he once detailed the story of crafting his cello. Bringing pieces together. Carefully mixing varnish in the dim light of the workshop. Cello hanging from the ceiling like a bunch of flowers hanging to dry. Workbenches lining the walls, stools scattered. Smells of wood and varnish wafting. Focus, intensity, passion, and deep respect palpable through his words.
I imagine Corry hovering over his craft, pouring his heart and soul into what would become evidence of his existence.
Corry’s cello remains, ten years after he has left this world. His cello remains.
I am deeply thankful he left his treasures behind. To hold for him. To be proud of him still. To remember him.
Corry, thank you for your treasures.