I have several memento boxes. A few are my own, filled with cards my husband and I sent each other, cards from my son, letters from my dad when I was in college, letters from a serviceman in Vietnam. But I also kept memento boxes from my parents who have passed on. It seems at holidays when I miss them most, those boxes are gifts my parents give me all over again. In one box I keep the journal my mom wrote on her honeymoon along with souvenirs she kept from the trip. In another I have a partial log my dad kept when he was in the service.
This week I pulled a box from under the bed and went through some of it again. I found photos I'd never seen before of my dad. I'd known he was in the service in Germany and Italy. But in these photos, he was standing in front of Big Ben. I never realized he'd spent time in England.
When we're kids we think we'll have our parents forever. Maybe we don't listen as attentively as we should to their history...their life story before we were born. I know I didn't. Now I wish I had. But I do have the memento boxes. Every time I open one I seem to find something new, even though I've been through the box many times before. It's like opening a treasure trove from the past that helps me know my parents even more richly than I did as a child.
Memories are precious. Keepsake boxes are a link to a time we might want our own children to know about, learn about, and understand. If you don't have a keepsake box, you might want to start one. It can be a gift to someone you love that will keep on giving.
A novel about family.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 95th novel will be released in 2016.
Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.
Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below.