We moved recently. Normally, we stay in a home around nine years. Or at least we did once we settled in Louisiana and bought our first starter home. When we outgrew that one, we moved not far away and lived right by some close friends. So close that we had a gate between our fences and constantly moved back and forth during holidays and weekend cookouts. Around that time, I sold my first book and celebrated with our neighbors. I’ll get back to that in a minute.
When I sold two other books on my birthday, my husband took me to lunch to celebrate. I chose Cracker Barrel. When we walked in, I spotted a sunflower throw and fell in love with it. We didn’t have a big budget then, but hey, it was my birthday and I wanted that throw. But I also wanted that throw because one of my older sisters had died from a wreck with drunk driver a couple of years earlier. I don’t know why, but the beautiful sunflowers made me think of her, up there in heaven cheering me on. I took it home and displayed it in what was then our sunflower-decorated master bedroom. That was twenty-three years ago.
We moved yet again, into a bigger house and I changed the décor of our master bedroom but carried the sunflower motif into a guest room. The throw decorated the room and was used a lot by guests and by me. I almost gave it away when I changed the décor but I couldn’t part with it. When we moved to Florida, it came with me and went into the townhouse guest room again for a while. Now we are in our new home and yes, I brought the sunflower throw with me. Because it reminds me of my sister and how she believed in me and never turned her back on me. It also reminds me of my friend and neighbor with whom I shared many wonderful sun-dappled memories. We once went in search of a sunflower field along with her son and mother and almost wound up in a field, due to the driver. Me. 🙂 Then when we got home, still laughing I realized I’d left my driver’s license in another purse. So glad we didn’t get a ticket!
Which brings me to the rest of the story. A few years after the sunflower trip, that same friend and I along with another friend drove our then-teenaged sons to Dallas for a concert. While they went to the concert, we headed to the Galleria to shop. I bought the picture below there and had it framed and I put it in the sunflower guest room. It made me think of the three of us and how much we’d laughed that day–getting lost in Dallas, wondering if we’d ever find our kids again, seeing helpful signs along the way. I still have the picture and yes, it will go in a guest room at this house. But here’s the kicker: As I was looking at the picture today, deciding where I wanted to hang it, I thought about the turmoil the world has been in and wondered why life couldn’t be as simple as this picture. I missed my friends and I still miss my sister everyday. I looked closely at the picture and I saw something I’d never noticed before. I don’t know how I missed it. The three little girls are sitting on the almost-exact sunflower type throw I still have after all these years. It’s hard to see here, but it’s there. The portrait is called Beachside Memories but that sunflower throw has all kinds of memories. Why didn’t I notice it before? Maybe because God was saving it for a day when I really needed to see it. A day when my world, the entire world, feels a little shaky and unsteady. The little moments of life are important because they hold the details of things we can’t see. If we’re not careful, we miss the special messages God lays at our feet. Sunflowers always turn their heads toward the sun. I think I will do that. And when I do, I will have no fear. Because the Scripture tells us we are not to have a spirit of fear but rather a spirit of power and love and self-control. My old throw has been through a lot and so have I. But now I will never give it away because it’s been holding some very important details that will guide me through life. What kind of special mementoes and items do you consider important in your life?
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