Story Pieces

 

In my hands I hold story pieces belonging to an elderly man I never knew.   The truth and sentiment of this has gripped my heart in a way unexpected.

 

The story pieces I hold include an old farm game, a cardboard box filled with tattered old crayons from his second grade year- which his mother lovingly decorated his name on the top, a pencil box from later years filled with pens and pencils- his name then neatly scrolled in his own cursive penmanship… and a child’s play shaving kit.

 

It was the old shaving kit that did it.  It gripped my heart and caused me to fight back tears.

 

Story pieces.

 

Perhaps, it’s because I can so easily envision my own six year old son playing wholeheartedly with a miniature bar of soap, and a tiny tube of real toothpaste.  Maybe I wonder what this old-man-young was like.  One day, not really so very long ago, he stood in front of a mirror, lathered up his face with the mini bristly shave brush and carved off cream in streaks with his plastic razor.  He combed his hair with the comb, and dabbed on aftershave from the mini sized vial.  I’m sure his mother kissed his “clean shaven” fresh smelling face all over. Little Jerry Lee used up every bit of this shaving kit.  Still, he saved it.

 

Story pieces.

 

Each item used up.  Each item saved.  A broken comb.  Toothbrush.  Toothpaste.  Three teeny tiny glass jars of aftershave and cologne.  Mini shave brushes and a bar of soap.  Cardboard razors to fit in the plastic razor head.  Little Jerry Lee even cut out and colored a few cardboard razor blades of his own. Perhaps he used the crayons from his second grade crayon box- the one which his mother so lovingly put his name.

 

Story pieces.

 

Story pieces that Jerry Lee saved for 60 years.  Story pieces that meant something to him.  Story pieces that now mean something to me.  Someone, somewhere named Jerry Lee Myers cared enough to neatly save and preserve a few pieces from his childhood.  These were more than “things” to him.  He was saving memories, feelings, warmth, security, love, a piece of home.  Jerry Lee had a tender heart to want to save a precious few treasures, pieces from his childhood, pieces from his beginnings, pieces that founded the man he was.

 

Story pieces.

 

I am saddened by the fact that Jerry Lee is probably no longer here.  His story pieces were acquired at an auction, that more than likely came from his estate. I am sure Jerry Lee never thought some sentimental girl born and raised in Indiana would ever wonder about him, a Colorado native, because of a used up old shaving kit toy.  I wonder, and I hope that Jerry Lee had a good long life filled with laughter.  I hope his hardships weren’t too hard.  I hope he experienced love.   Deep love.  I hope he knew that he was a treasure to Jesus.

 

Story pieces.

 

Jerry Lee’s story pieces have caused me to think about my own.  What legacy of story will I leave?  What pieces will be left behind for some to wonder about me?  His pieces also make me realize that my own little boy, and three precious girls need lots more kisses, and tons more hugs.  These precious days, and pieces of their own childhood story don’t last nearly long enough for this mama’s heart.  I’m sure Jerry Lee’s mama soaked in those precious days of her little boy shaving “just like daddy” in front of the bathroom mirror.  I want to be sure to soak in these days, too.

 

Story pieces.

 

The most riveting thing about Jerry Lee’s shaving kit is that it was all used up.  Every drop.  Every bit.  Completely.  Empty. He sucked every bit of enjoyment from those tiny vials, the tube of toothpaste, the shaving soap.  Gone.  Perhaps some of it spilled accidentally.  Perhaps parts of our own stories are not so different .

Some of our lives get spilled out unexpected. Poured out.  Used up.  Emptied.  Given.  That is what I want the story pieces of my life to be.  Not a drop left.  Perhaps Jerry Lee was sad when the contents were empty, but there was still enough treasure to save.  Legacy, that I, the Indiana girl with the heart sentimental, now hold in my hands. Thank you, Jerry Lee for the lesson well learned.  Thank you for preserving your story pieces so that I could think about my own, and encourage others to think about theirs. Thank you, Jerry Lee, thank you.

 

 

Shanda Sargent belongs to her beloved, Matt, and homeschools their four very cool kids near the foothills of the Rockies.  After almost 20 years of pastoral ministry, their family is “ruthlessly trusting” God in the midst of plan B. You can follow her blog, where she rambles her heart’s stirrings once every couple of weeks at http://www.theupsidedownpastorswife.blogspot.com, follow her on Twitter @willowlight44, or friend/subscribe to her facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Pinkbutterfly23

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5 Comments

  • Nice post, Shanda!

    I’m another one that tends to wax nostalgic over old stuff like that (I imagine Matt does too, or he wouldn’t have picked up something like Jerry Lee’s box at an auction.)

    The things people hold onto really do tell you so much about who they are. I recently bought my uncle’s old car (he’s last remaining of my dad’s generation, and he has dementia so he can’t drive anymore) and found so many things that tell me about him. He retire from the LAPD in the 70’s, but what’s still in the trunk of his car? His holster. His badge. A collection of coins and medals. In the glove box, in the holder with his proof of insurance is his ID as a retired officer.

    Also in the trunk, two teddy bears. I asked the caregiver that works with him about that — she said that police officers sometimes carry a teddy bear in the car in case they come upon a situation with a grieving/hurting child so that they have something to give them, something to comfort them. Here’s my uncle, retired over 30 years… still carrying teddy bears in the trunk of the care just in case he needs to comfort someone.

    Good post. Makes me think, what am I doing to leave something behind…..

  • Dan….

    GREAT COMMENT!!! This is the reason I love antiques. STORY.

    I LOVE the treasures you found in your uncle’s car. ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS!! What a sweetheart he must be.

    This is probably why we get along so well….. sentimental, perhaps to a fault. LOL! 😉 .Matt really does enjoy the story of old pieces, too. I do always enjoy the treasures he brings home, and once in a rare while, he’ll let me keep something.

    As always, thank you so much for your encouragement. So glad that GOD saw fit to cross our paths, brother.

    Blessings!

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