Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lost Memories I Didn't Know I Had

My mom just told me that someone stole from us while we were moving. She's missing some jewelry, money, and picture. She said it was packed into a box with some other stuff and a jade buddha. My aunt has the buddha now saying she found it on the floor during the last sweep of the apartment and thought it was really nice (and it is) and should be kept so she took it home. Mom suspects that the thief was non-Asian, took out the buddha not knowing its worth, and took the box. I don't even remember such a thing when I was around the place but then again, there was such a big mess I might have just glazed over the whole scene.

The worst thing isn't the money or the jewelry. Sure, it took years to earn the money to purchase all those baubles and each one holds its own memories and sentimental values. I will miss those rings I used to put on my tiny fingers as a child wishing I was big enough to wear them. I will miss those necklaces and earrings I would mix and match as I played dress up. But those things can be replaced. Sure, it was part of my inheritance but I have a house now. If anything, those were outdated styles anyway.

The worst thing is the pictures. We lost all the pictures of my mom and dad's childhood. Most if not all of the photos were old portrait-type photos. Still-lives of a family to be printed and shown-off. Those kinds of pictures don't tell much of a story on their own but they were memories of a past untold.

My mother always told stories of how poor they were but those photos proved that the family had some money and I always used that in countering my mother's lessons of "we were so poor". I liked how my mom and her older sister looked so similar, then and now. I liked how grandma looked the same for so many years; it gave me comfort for my old age. I looked at those pictures and still wondered "who do I look like?".

My father was never much of a talker. He never told stories of his past. Everything I know came from my mother and her stories came from his sisters and his mother. With those stories and the look in his eyes of those photos, I could imagine what kind of child my father was. And how that child became the teenager in the convertible. And how that teenager became the man in bellbottoms. I still wonder how much of him I inherited.

All I can hope for now is that the thief was kind enough to give the pictures back and it's still in a box.