A box of memories

Tucked away at the back of my mirrored wardrobe is a sturdy green shoebox. Inside is my life – or at least a record of my life, from love-crazed teenage diaries to funny little mementoes I’ve kept from overseas trips.

Every now and then I’ll drag the shoebox out and laugh at the strange things I wrote and believed at 12, 15, 19 and so on; the teachers I hated at school, the indecision over which of the Bros twins I loved the most and the silly squabbles with my dearly beloved sibling.

In the middle of the dog-eared exercise books, is also a grubby cinema ticket to see Rocky, a little ziplock bag with sand in it (more on this shortly), stuff from more recent times, a love letter, newspaper cuttings…it’s my box of life.

Looking through it tonight and reading all those diaries had me in laughing and remembering all over again. I’d written a sliding scale of ‘boys I fancied’ and given them each a grade…there was a list of how I’d spent the money from my first Saturday job pay (all £10.02 of it) and a lot of gushing about a skinny actor from a very cheezy film called, ‘Pretty in Pink’ – Andrew Macarthy.

The sand in the ziplock bag? Taken from a beach in Anglesey, after a youth group holiday. I stood on that beach with a chap I believed I was in love with and to remember the moment, I put a handful of sand in my pocket and later transferred it to the bag. And yes, I STILL have it. The in-lovededness with the man didn’t last quite as long.

The Rocky cinema ticket was from my first proper grown-up date. I still remember what I wore and how deeply uncomfortable I was at being the subject of this guy’s attention. He wanted to marry me – told me that on our 3rd date. There wasn’t a fourth.

The love letter and the newspaper cuttings are from more recent times. I keep this stuff because when I look through it, I remember all those feelings all over again. Sometimes, if I close my eyes, I can almost taste the salty air in Anglesey or feel the scratchiness of that horrible cream skirt I wore to see Rocky.

Remembering is good. Some of the box’s memories make me really sad; the death of a good friend when I was 21, the pain of heartache, but there’s also the GREAT; the euphoria of being offered a job I really wanted, a first kiss and oh, it was Matt from Bros. I fancied him the most.

I love my memory box. It reminds me of good stuff and of God’s faithfulness through the bad times. 

As the year draws to a close, for all its loveliness and its awfulness, my memory box reminds me that I have much to be grateful for. 


Published by Paula Cummings

I'm a PR person - worked in the charitable sector for the past quite-a-lot-of-years. The views expressed here are mine. All mine.

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  1. I used to keep a diary during my tumultuous teenage years. It was very incriminating. Not sure where it is now. Probably for the best that it has disappeared. There was some cracking stuff in there though all good prosecution evidence! 😉

  2. Oh yep – there’s a lot of incriminating evidence in mine too!
    Come to think of it, your sister’s antics feature quite highly in my diaries too. 🙂

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