I've never been one to carry a lot in my pocketbook. It has always held just the bare necessities in my opinion: wallet, keys, gum, checkbook, pen, hand lotion, dollar store eyeglasses and lipgloss, very simple. I don't spend much on purses either, any designer one I may have is definitely a knock off. I can't justify the price. I use the same one all year round. My friends and coworkers can attest to the fact that I'm practical and low maintenance.
These days my purse carries one more thing at all times, Christopher's ashes. Yes, he goes with me everywhere. Sometimes I look to double check the silver urn is there, just for my own piece of mind, other times I take it out and hold it in hopes I'll feel him with me. This is definitely new in my life.
Chris' big SHEN green urn sits in his room on his dresser among the smattering of tee shirts he acquired when we visited colleges. It's really heavy. I sat his gorgeous golden football trophy on top of him where he's sure not to miss it when he visits his room. The little urn is so I can keep him close always.
He protects me. I need him nearby when I miss him and I'm thankful to Catricalla Funeral Home for helping me pick out a small urn in addition to the big one. It means a great deal to me and was one of the best decisions I made during that tragic week. You may find it creepy, awkward or morbid, I can't help that though. He's my son and if ashes are his physical form now I want him with me in that way.
So, back to the purse; it got me to thinking about something I carry in my wallet. Of all things, an Ann Landers newspaper clipping. Yes, that Ann Landers. I've had it for years and years, no kidding, since I was in high school. It's yellowed and wrapped in scotch tape to protect it. I don't think it would be as meaningful if I retyped it as it would lose its character. Here's what it says:
THE CROSS ROOM
The young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out he dropped to his knees in prayer. "Lord I can't go on. I have too heavy a cross to bear".
The Lord replied "My son, if you can't bear its weight just place your cross inside that room. Then open that other door and pick out any cross you wish".
The man was filled with relief "Thank you Lord" he sighed and he did as he was told.
Upon entering the other door he saw many crosses, some so large the tops were not visible. Then he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall.
"I'd like that one, Lord" he whispered.
And The Lord replied "My son that is the cross you just brought in."
I have always loved reading that story and now it has new meaning to me. I used to think I had problems back in the day but now I know they were drops in the bucket. I’m aware I carry a heavy load right now too.
My heartache is tremendous and I have to dig deep into my faith in God. I have broad shoulders though and I can carry what I'm asked to. I feel I'm a very special woman for God to single me out in the Capital District and ask me to handle this situation. I don't know why he did - I can ask all I want but it’s not time to know just yet. I can do this. I can get through it and manage to find the good. I have a lot of support all around me - in various forms of mental, spiritual, physical and emotional hands.
I'm glad I carried that story for all those years in my sparse pocketbook contents. There's a reason I did. My cross is not nearly the largest. Far from it I'm sure. It seems we're all learning something from this tragedy, each of us in our own way. So long as good things happen as a result then we all benefit. I know I'm becoming stronger and my senses are awakening to a new degree. I hope yours are too.
Thank you for reading.