Sunday, April 09, 2017

Dearest Stephen

I mentioned recently that I am getting a makeover of my apartment next month; new carpet, new floors in the bathroom and kitchen, and all new major appliances. One of the byproducts of the remodeling is that I have to reorganize enough to be able to swiftly move stuff around- the crew will be in and out in one day. With that in mind, I've started going through my main closet, discarding what is no longer precious and keeping what means the most. Sometimes, there is a fine line between the categories. The biggest part of the challenge will be to condense the three large WALMART plastic tubs in the closet down into two or less. There are filled to overflowing with letters/pictures/birthday and Christmas cards/notes from kids/newspaper clippings, etc. I'm trying to discard two thirds of the contents and not open every envelope along the way. There are certain things I'm looking for, particularly from certain people I was very attached to in my younger days. I've got a box just for pictures and it's bursting at the seams. But I've filled two of the largest HEFTY garbage bags already and hope to knock it all out next weekend as we have no school on Friday. I figure at least eight more hours- wish me luck!

There are several things I've noticed already besides some mild to middling nostalgia. One has to do with the stack of mail from my folks which I am separating to read at a later date. I've opened a few and found most were penned by Mom. But what stood out is something I never noticed before. Every letter has the same heading:
Dearest Steve

I'm guessing I was the recipient of hundreds of cards and notes and letters from the woman who gave me life and this never dawned on me before. To me, there is a huge difference between dear and dearest, and more than just is conveyed in three extra letters. My guess is she also used that greeting when writing my siblings, and maybe even others, but it reminded me how much I loved my mom and made me miss her even more. I was Dearest.....

The second has to do with something else I didn't realize. In every elementary school paper of mine that I found, I was addressed as Stephen. In every card to my folks or grandparents or on primitive art work I drew, I signed as Stephen. I never recall being called Stephen in my life, at school or home, with the exception of times of moderate to severe correction when I became known as the child STEPHEN WAYNE! (Actually, that was fairly common!) My hunch is when I started showing preference for the shortened form, they graciously agreed without making a big deal out of it. That's just what good parents seem to do. 

So there you have it, with one tub of my memory lane down and two bigger ones to go. I'm reminded that the couple who created me also named me and found me to be precious in their sight. That sounds quite a bit like the story of our Father in heaven on a slightly smaller scale. He knew us before we were conceived and He longs for the affection He shows His children to be mutual, or maybe as mutual as we can muster in our much lesser capacity. Nothing profound tonight but who knows- I could be stumbling across letters from former girlfriends. Or maybe,I better just stick to family as I wade down the corridors of my past.... and some of you can breathe a sigh of relief! You know, hopefully, who you are!

Applicable quote of the day:
“It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.” 
W.C. Fields

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at

No comments: