Stories of Things

Stories of Things - The Dollar Store Bluebird

This little dollar store bluebird sits on a shelf in my 10-year-old daughter's room. She got it when she was 6 years old. One of those trinkets you don't think much of as an adult, but is so important to a child. When she first got this lil' guy, she was so in love with it, she'd carry it around the house with her. 

She left the little bluebird out on the kitchen bar while she was at her dad's house for the weekend. My dad had stopped by for a visit and accidentally knocked it off the counter about five minutes before I had to pick up the girls. A big chip broke out of the back of it, and the tail cracked. There was no time to repair it before she returned, I knew if she saw it she'd be devastated. So I hid it in the vacuum closet until I had time to buy super glue and repair it. She was distracted enough with other things that she never asked about the little bird, nor did she seem to notice it was missing. I forgot about it. A couple months later, my dad passed away.

Some time passed - maybe a year - and the little bluebird caught my eye up on his little shelf in the vacuum closet. I collected him and his little, broken bit and carried him into Sophia's room. I sat on the bed next to her and explained the story of what had happened to her little bird and how badly my dad felt that he'd broken it. I explained my intention to repair it, but how my intentions had become lost in all that had happened.

She smiled and said, "I'm glad you didn't fix it. Now that little broken piece is a really good memory."

Stories of Things - The Big Wrench

The Big Wrench with a penny and Scrabble letters for scale. 

The Big Wrench with a penny and Scrabble letters for scale. 

I have this giant wrench on my mantle. My dad used to use this wrench. He used to own and repair a lot of heavy equipment with nuts and bolts requiring a wrench of this size. I think the most incredible thing about it was watching my dad use this wrench. He had these big, strong hands, creased and scarred from years of fixing cars and building things and surviving the Vietnam War. Hands that didn't wear gloves because gloves just got in the way of what he was trying to do. His hands told stories without him ever saying a word. 

This wrench reminds me of my dad's strength, not just from the literal amount of strength it takes to wield a wrench of this size, which he absolutely had, but what it represents symbolically about who my dad was. My dad was humble, hard working, strong in his beliefs, in love and in character. 

It's a beautiful wrench.