Friday, May 29, 2009
As you know, Gavin is a collector. He gathers and hoards all sorts of "treasures" and keeps them either in a box in his closet so his brother will not touch them or lined up on his dressers for a proud display of his most recently acquired nuggets of nostalgia.
For him, this is an expression of himself and part of something he can control in his life. And Gavin likes to control the little bits he can around him. I have learned to accept this about him despite the fact that it looks junky and it encourages him NOT to share. It is Gavin.
However, every so often, I go on a rampage cleaning out his "treasures" when they begin to overrun his room or when the collections under the bed overflow into NOT under the bed causing me to step on them or when I can no longer find room in his closet for a pair of little boys' shoes (which are 1 size away from fitting me, by the way).
The other day, on his nightstand, I was tired of looking at this, and was a few minutes away from forcing him to find a different place less conspicuous:
Before I said anything, I noticed a small memo pad with a pencil inserted into the spiral binding at the top. I looked at it and asked Gavin what he was writing at night when he was supposed to be sleeping. He said, "a list." A list of what? "A list of everything on that table."
So not only is he collecting, he is compiling lists of his collections.
This list said the following:
Cat dumptrukc (dumptruck)
cros in a bag (cross in a bag)
bake pak thing (back pack thing)
shrt thing (shirt thing)
And I realized that this particular collection, the only one thus far worthy of a list, was a collection of all things YOU. His nightstand is a little shrine to some "treasures" we have found around the house that were yours or that remind him directly of you.
Your BMX racing trophy
A Caterpillar dumptruck
The cross keepsake that matches the one we placed in your casket
The putty you used for your occupational therapy to regain some hand mobility
A Caterpillar luggage tag
A magnetic shirt nametag with your name
One of your lanyards from the Diavek diamond mine you visited in Canada
And this is one collection that I can live with. It no longer looks like clutter and chaos.
It looks beautiful.
I miss you, Brian. We all do. I love you. We all do.