I have a friend who has a cigar box sitting on her coffee table that is full of family photos taken during a family photo session lots of years ago. Her children were little, her husband was in the military & frequently deployed, & they moved around a lot. Capturing the moments had very special meaning for them & these are truly cherished treasures they continue to celebrate & be grateful for to this day.
I've been thinking a lot about collected moments especially this year. My friend, Bruce Waller, might call these milemarkers which he has beautifully wrapped up in an amazing tool to record your personal journal; it's titled Milemarkers: A Five-Year Journey, available on Amazon, I recommend it highly! It's all about the little / big moments we share with those closest to us.
So! Yesterday I set out to find a real cigar box! It was such fun to plan it all & while at the store I chose, people there loved my idea & were so very kind to help me find just the right one!
The next step was to figure out what I would personally put inside! My head was spinning with the possibilities of what theme for the content & deciding what was extraordinarily important enough to make the cut.
Contents in cigar box #1:
Why these, you ask? Glad you asked! Top left is a pin given to me by the last group I lead & served with while working at American Airlines in airport operations. I loved pins even then, they knew it & this was quite an important statement of love & respect not just felt for me, but we felt for each other. I have recently celebrated my 20th year anniversary with DBU, & it's definitely in the collection of milemarkers. When I look at the pin, & wear it proudly, I have the image of their sweet faces as I do. The successes, the failures, & what all we learned along the way (& how we grew) together. Right below it is a pin made especially for me by the mother of a student from India. A gift from one mother to another & although we have never met, we shared a deep bond of trust for I was critical to the well being of her child. This gesture was a powerful statement without words of the thank you she felt. I deeply know how big a sacrifice she made by letting go in such a powerfully unselfish way.
Top necklace was one worn by my sister, my daughter, our mother & me for what seems like forever. Of course, it had to make the contents.
Below is the dragon fly pin that so many comment about its beauty every time I wear it (which is often). It was a gift from my son, Clayton, & I've been know to say he goes everywhere important. HA
The butterfly pin was an amazing gift from another MBA student, Jerry Sorrell. The academic journey (life's journey) is just never going to be an easy, pothole free one - not by anyone. Certainly it wasn't for me either. This pin was definitely an amazing gesture because he noticed while he was here I wore a lot of butterfly stuff. He went out of his way to acknowledge his special journey, the impact he felt I had made, & it forever is written on my heart.
The cigar box had to include my charm bracelet. The charms were given to me during visits to special places. The cross was given in Santiago. The razorback, of course, when my daughter lived in Arkansas. The cowboy hat I actually bought myself due to my Texas roots. It just felt right, central to my identity.
Contents in cigar box #2:
This image probably speaks for itself, right? I have received so so so so many wonderful cards, notes, & letters over the many years! Each & every one is with a message they have personally written on my heart. These are a lot like sending me flowers. And they have come with such love & at the most surprising moments often! The Lord speaks to me through the words of others & these are truly highly significant to who I am as a person. Gotta make the cigar box treasures for sure.
Now I'm wondering what is, or would be, in your cigar box(es)! How many would you have? Would you have an empty one that represents sounds like the laughter of your loved ones? Music playing in your mind that has made it to the depths of your soul?
I'm wondering, too, if these are the tangible evidence of the moments, the milemarkers, to be journaled ultimately as part of your memoir, as Bruce might say?
Call To Action:
Share the contents of your cigar box with others close to you. What is important enough, treasured enough, to be put inside? Would there be a personal one, and a separate professional one?
I would love to hear from you, too! Let's start a conversation!