On the top of our dresser are reminders of our union.
The unity candle from our wedding stands up there. I’ve moved it from apartment to apartment, place to place, four or five times since we married. I’ve dusted it and the little silver stand it rests on. Everyone seemed to do the unity candle around the time of our wedding- it was on a wedding story- which I watched daily during the time of our engagement, and many of our friends did it at the ceremonies we attended before ours- the ones where we usually sang and played the “special song” together. I sang and you played at many, many weddings. It was torture while I was waiting for you to propose for a few years, standing up there, watching the couple light their candle and usually step down from the altar with flowers for the parents of the bride and groom. But this unity candle- it really means something. You really do, in a sense, blow out your “self” and become one flame. So can half of a flame even be blown out, I wonder? How does my flame burn now? Probably like a dying ember- those last little hot orange flecks on the wick…smoldering.
Also on our dresser- under the mess of “stuff” I have let accumulate there the past few months- is a pretty conch shell from our “babymoon” on this islands of Turks and Caicos. We had read about all of the conch shells there, and you kept ordering it for your meals just to try something new- you were always an adventurous eater like that- and I told you that I really wanted us to find one and take it home as a souvenir. I think it was our first evening walk there, you found it. It was so perfect and just sitting right there that it felt too easy- like someone had planted it there- or someone else had found it and put it back. We took it to our hotel room and since the hotel room had its own conch as a part of the decor we joked that they might think we stole theirs if they saw ours in our suitcase or bag later on when we were packing.
On the dresser is a large photo of our child- at three months. We went to one of those photo places in the mall; I dressed Audrey up in the cutest skirt and silk blouse from Janie and Jack. Of course when we arrived, she had a poop explosion and we had to take off the tights altogether. We weren’t thrilled with the photographer- who seemed like she was in high school and only had one trick for getting infants to smile which was making a clicking noise with her tongue. Audrey was unimpressed. I managed to get a few smiles out of her before the high school girl said, “I think she’s all tired out for today,” which she wasn’t. Still, when we came back after lunch we were surprised that we liked a lot of the shots. You said it was the lighting and the professional cameras that made it so easy for anyone to take good photos. Still, you didn’t want to spend a lot of money on those because you liked candid shots- and you liked taking them yourself.
On the dresser is an old spaghetti jar which I wrapped a pretty piece of paper around and wrote “Anniversary” in script. It was another one of my “traditions/ideas” that we never got to complete now with this happening. It’s about 1/4 full of change- spare change from our pockets or my purse at the end of a day or week. I said that whatever we had saved by our anniversary we could use to go out to eat a nice meal as a special treat. We joked that we’d have enough for a cup of coffee maybe.
There is also on my dresser my jewelry box, the one I’ve had since I was a little girl- gold with a portrait of a woman reading in bed on the front. Inside is mostly jewelry from you. I always told you that jewelry wasn’t important to me as a material item but that behind every bracelet or necklace there was a story. And now there is…there is the bird necklace from Tiffany you gave me our first Christmas together, the promise rings we bought our first year dating and wore together, the pearl necklace your mom got me right before we got engaged, and many more pieces- with stories.
On top of the jewelry box is the small pair of geese your mom gave us for our wedding- because they mate for life.
Inside the dresser your clothes still alternate drawers with mine- your socks, underwear, t-shirts, soccer jerseys, jeans, and pants. How will I ever move them.