Last night, we (Mom and I) opened Jolene's box of treasures. It's a lilac-colored lead box, about 8" square, that used to work with a key. Now it pops open with a touch.
First layer: a bag of polished stones stating they were from the Holy Land, as well as other unbagged stones. Jolene LOVED to collect stones. Twigs, branches, leaves ... Jaran talked about her love of nature in what he wrote for her memorial service.
Second layer: a thin box holding pins from the 2002 Olympics. Jolene and I had taken part in a mission outreach in Salt Lake City. I remember her delight at finding these terrific pins for a great price. She also kept a turquoise bracelet, reminiscent of our trip to Santa Fe. Those two items let me know how much those trips meant to her.
Third layer: coins, dozens of them, from all over the world. She collected American coins from the year of her birth, 1984, as well as older coins (from the '30s and '40s). She had lots of coins from Canada and Mexico; but what astonished me were the coins she had found from around the world. She had coins with Chinese characters; coins from Bermuda, Chile, Panama; from Poland and Holland and Italy; from a country in the former Soviet Block which we could not identify.
Bottom layer: a picture of Jolene with her fingerprints on the reverse side, her own form of identification. Her Social Security card, Colorado i.d., and birth certificate.
The weekend before Jolene died, we ate together at IHOP. She found two plastic Easter Eggs filled with candy. She was SO pleased with herself. She always noticed unusual colors and shapes and objects on the ground; and she collected anything of interest.
Looking at her treasures brought home my loss in a new way. I have lost someone unique and special, someone who treasured God's earth and the people on it. I cried. I don't know if you can call it crying. It's more of a whimper, broken sobs from a broken heart, letting loose small pieces of the pain inside.
Thanks for those of you who have prayed for us over the past 24 hours. I slept 10 hours, the first good night's rest since we heard the news. Today. we considered renting a movie or going to the theater. In the end we did neither. We made two trips out; both exhausted us. I feel tired and sad and heavy, but not as distraught as I expected.