It hung on the wall of the formal living room, centered over the mantle- given a certain dignity and place of purpose in the room. In many a holiday or special occasion photo, quietly present in the background. My mother’s shadowbox. I remember it well. Painted creamy white with bamboo looking wood trim, and mirrored shelf backs. Throughout my parents’ home, this one piece of furniture reminds me of my growing up more than any other. At some point in time, I was given the privilege of dusting it and rearranging the figurines. I stood on a dining chair happily completing the task. The little poodle family was my favorite as they descended in size. There was the blown glass, so careful that I did not break it I think I held my breath when I touched it. And the ladies dressed in fancy clothes…well they were beautiful to me.
The shadow box…like life, changed over time. Eventually it was replaced with a painting- when I was in college. Stored in our basement for a while, I am not sure what ever happened to it. We tend to do that…lose track of little things we love. We look back and wonder how that came to be. But it happens. We look back in longing yet march ahead knowing life never to be the same again.
The shadow box is just one piece of my past that I cherish…not for the wood it was made of – nothing truly exotic there, but the memories connected with it. As the shadow box hung for years I never thought of it as important in my life growing up, just amusing to a girl who liked to decorate. I was wrong you see…now I realize the importance. Now as I have lived past the age of 50 (with some wisdom) and have lost others that I miss dearly, I softly whisper to my heart…”I know”….”I know”…the simple things are truly precious reminders of living our lives and we should be ever grateful for them.