To the average person, this little book probably doesn’t seem like much. To them, it’s just another book. To me, it’s priceless.
I’ve had this book since June of 1989. If you look, you’ll see it’s well maintained. In pristine condition. If you were to open it you’d see an inscription. Nothing major, just my name written with fancy curly lettering followed by “Happy Birthday” and my friend’s signature.
It was given to me on the last day of my freshman year of high school along with a bookmark that said “Get Me To The DIRTY Part” and my second blank journal book. She’d given it to me on that day because we wouldn’t be seeing each other on my birthday.
That was a very difficult time in my life. Not only was I dealing with a new high school because we’d moved, but we were also handling the loss of a close family member. I was the new kid who didn’t know anyone. Kids are cruel at that age and they mocked my love of writing, especially poetry. I learned to wrap my gift close to my heart, hidden from the world.
But somehow she knew. This little book was a symbol of her deep understanding of the fifteen year old me. She saw the inner romantic that my tomboy side hid. She knew and appreciated my inner need to write of love and grand passions. She found the gift that fueled my inner poet’s dreams and imagination. It was her way of telling me to keep writing. So I filled that blank journal with poems often inspired by the classic poems in the other book she gave me. In fact, I still have that book, too.
And I valued her friendship. She moved away our junior year. Unfortunately, as with most things, time and distance got in the way and we lost touch. The last time I heard from her was nearly twenty years ago. I think of my friend fondly, hoping she is well and has found a love deserving of her generous heart.
That book became a symbol to me; a reminder that the good things in the world far outweigh the bad and we need to hold on to them. It’s a reminder that love and romance still exist and should be cherished. But most of all, it’s a reminder to follow your dreams and value the people who value you. I think she’d be thrilled to know that I still write today.
Everyone has priceless treasures, things that they hold near and dear to their heart. What are yours? What do they mean to you? What things helped to shape who you are today? Share with me….