I did a self-portrait and daily journal series during my first-ever NaNoWriMo challenge in November. I received several questions about objects that were lightly blurred out in the background of some of the photos.
One question I got was:
"What's in the suitcase side table?"
When my dad passed away in 2012, my sister, step-mom and I had to do that painful thing where you go through a passed-away person's belongings and sort out what to do with it all. Throughout my entire life, my dad played guitar. I kept his old Martin and this suitcase. I knew there was a bunch sheet music inside, but for this little "Stories of Things" project I opened it up again and dug through it a little.
There are some awesome sheet music books in here, all the classics like Bob Wills and Hank Williams and Waylon Jennings and a bunch more. What I hadn't realized is underneath all the music books were a bunch of handwritten and typed songs my dad had made. His attempts at pouring his soul out into verse. Songs about love and loss and war and pain. There were also a few letters my dad had received in the mail from people he'd done some act of kindness for. The letters weren't specific, but my dad did help a lot of people so it wasn't a surprise to find several thank you notes like this. It made me teary reading through the heartfelt gratitude expressed in some of these letters from people who'd only met my dad once or twice. Kindness is such beautiful mark to leave on the lives of strangers.
It's a pretty awesome looking suitcase side table. But it's definitely much, much more than that. It's a box of beautiful memories that capture the kind of life my dad lived.