Okay! The question of the day that was supposed to pique my interest and inspire me to write was:
What personal belongings do you hold most dear?
My first thoughts on this were, to a degree, unprintable in a polite blog like mine. Then I realized it was not the muse’s prompt that bothered me. It was my view of life that made me react that way.
I was raised in a world where everything was temporary, even family. Yes, in my childhood, my brother and I learned early on that here today, gone tomorrow was more than a saying, regardless of the thing in question.
The first loss I remember was our family dog when I was five or six. A neighbor poisoned her because she kept escaping from our yard and invading his space. That was the first time I remember being told, “Big boys, don’t cry.”
The big boys don’t cry mantra was something I learned well by the time I was a teenager. Every pet we had disappeared for one reason or another over the years. Sometimes we heard some fairy tale about our pet needing a better home or someone needing a pet more than we did. Whatever the truth, if pets were that disposable in our lives, how precious could material things be?
Over the years, a few things meant something special and more than others. My first real gun, for example, was special. We were into quick-draw competitions at one time, and I was given a 22-caliber Colt single-action six-shooter so I could compete. I had it for years, but it was just a tool. Eventually, I sold it to buy something I wanted more.
Over the years, I’ve come to understand why life was like that for my family. That has not helped much in the area of possessions or personal belongings. I have a few possessions I care about, but none I hold dear, as I understand the term.
What I have are memories. Some I hold dear, and some I really wish I could forget. However, the memories I wish I could forget are the ones that helped me remember what not to do as a father, husband, and friend.
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