Welcome to the Proof of Life journal entry series.
Writing more in general, and specifically with you, is something I hope to continue.
Like many of you, life has become clearer over the past few years and there are many things I have dropped along the way that I deeply desire to pick back up. In turn, there are things I never want to pick up again.
From the very beginning, I have always felt like we are on this journey together and I can’t wait to hear what proof of life will come to mean to you.
The older I get, I am noticing that some memories fade away and others rise to the surface. So much no longer feels like a big deal or worth pursuing and the simplest things now are precious and everything.
I think more about how I want to love people, honor them and support those around me. I have fifty years of people doing those things for me and as the years go by I realize the impact when we are seen by others.
As far back as I can remember, I would get beautiful books at Christmas time from my Aunt Beverly and Uncle Hadley. Books on art, poetry, science etc. I have every single one of those books to this day. They were gifts of substance.
When I was in early high school I was obsessed with fashion. Those were the beginning desires of going to design school, moving to the city, runway shows, and creating what I could dream up. I was inspired by the old movies I would watch with my mom on the weekends and I was constantly drawing designs based upon the styles from the past.
We didn’t have cable TV in our home growing up, so when my Aunt Beverly and Uncle Hadley heard about my love of fashion they made me an offer. Every week they would record Style with Elsa Klensch on a VHS tape. When the tape was filled they would send it to me in a custom made wooden box that fit the tape like a glove. They always had a tape going and once I was finished watching one I would send it back to them in Montgomery, Alabama and they would send me the new episodes to Illinois.
Back and forth this went. I honestly don’t even know how long that wooden box was mailed across the country but now as an adult I am humbled by their seeing of me. Humbled by their conscious decisions to love me well in a way that said we will make sure to set timers, press record, go to the post office and do it again and again and again.
I still have that wooden VHS box. I keep it as a reminder of their love for me and the love I want to show others. Do I see people, truly see them enough to be inconvenienced to love, honor and support them again and again and again?
Do I see those things in others that are not at all important to me or do I only acknowledge those things that I honor?
Thank you Aunt Beverly and Uncle Hadley for seeing me. Your loving me in this way is a treasure from childhood and every time I extend that same love to others, I know I learned it first from you.
I would love to hear who in your life really saw you while you were growing up or even now!