Notes from Jan

Maggie’s Memory Box

November 15, 2016

So insignificant I started to toss it, when cleaning out the backseat, until I heard a plaintive,”No, Momo.  I want to keep that in my memory box.”

We’d just arrived at our destination in Stowe, Vermont.  Maggie and I’d driven together, the rest of the family due at suppertime last Friday evening.

Not a user of GPS, other than the One I wrote about in my last post, I’d written out the directions and asked Maggie, age nine, to be my navigator.  From the backseat, I heard, “turn left,  go right, take 100 north” and other specifics to get us from here to there.   Apparently, it all mattered to Maggie. She wanted the crumpled sheet among her stash of keepsakes in her treasure box back home.

Trust matters.

Family, friends, my faith and the state of our nation, nudge me to pay attention to moments,  easily overlooked or discarded, like backseat trash. Sometimes, a good gift to hear, “No, Momo….that’s a keeper.”  So, I’ll  join her and deposit moments with Maggie-the-Navigator, into my memory bank, a day when meaningful work, trust and love came along to bless the journey.

Good to remember when times are tough,  we need each other to get from here to there.  Hopefully, there’ll come  or we’ll give, moments, so full of Grace, they’ll get scooped up and tucked into a memory box or better.

We just never know the value, until we’ve tossed “a keeper” one way or the other.


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  • Reply Randall K Mathews November 15, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Jan:

    Maggie’s Memory Box reminds my own decision to “hang on” to some old greeting cards from family members. As I read through them, I was reminded again at how much power there is in what people say. Words do matter and can bring back pleasant and warm memories from long ago. So, Maggie, that piece of scrap paper you have preserved in your memory box will some day remind you of that wonderful road trip with Momo to Stowe, VT>

    P.S. Maggie, I did miss those wonderful hugs from you and Kate last Sunday.

  • Reply Jim Trent November 15, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    We do need each other in times like these, and memory boxes – literal and figurative – are important. Thanks to you, Jan, and also Maggie for the reminder.

  • Reply Grace Keep November 18, 2016 at 5:02 am

    I have been reading your lovely mothers books, where she often speaks of you and your own gift of writing and speaking. I feel as if I join the family in their joys and sorrows, always reminded of memories in my own memory bank, and in recalling some of them, I no longer feel the pain, just the joy of abundant life I have found in
    greater measure because He held me through it all and I came to love Him so much more!
    God bless you as you minister as your dear parents and grandparents did to hurting people wherever they found them !

  • Reply Polly Ann Brown November 18, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Jan, I was recently given to see with fresh eyes in the dark in a hospital bed, the gift of Memory/memories: the laughter around a breakfast table with friends last summer, playing ping-pong with a grandson, acting out scenes from “Frozen” with a grand-daughter, and reading “The Hiding Place” to another grand-daughter — these and other wonderful memories came rushing in and were the best medicine. Thanks, Jan.

    Love, Polly Ann

  • Reply Wendy lane November 19, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    So precious!

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