Years ago, Presence Quotient was going to move their office location. One day I was with Dr. Ip, cleaning up her office and I spotted a bundle of flowers with dried up, yellowish petals and brownish leaves, sitting on the lower cabinet, leaning against the wall. It looked like it was going to fall apart with the slightest touch. I pointed at the flowers and asked Dr. Ip, “You still want it?” She stopped, and said, “Keep it! It’s from my husband for our anniversary last year. Let me bring it home for dried flower decor.”
I don’t care too much about special days, nor do I collect keepsakes. I just feel like whatever has passed is past. The old must go for the new things to come. However, this incident struck me. Flowers as beautiful as roses will wither with time; wedding ceremonies, no matter how grand, will fade with time and all that is left is an anniversary year after year. That said, I think in the years of marriage, there must be countless times of laughter and tears, conflict and growth, promise and heartache, peppered with some misunderstanding, regret, unexpected events, happiness, so on and so forth. This kind of temporary and complicated sentiment will never go away. Instead, all of them will be collected and be part of an intangible thing called memory. The meaning of keepsakes is that it brings back personal or emotional connections.
If memory is a room, then a keepsake is the key to open that room. Keepsakes make a memory and sentiment more tangible because you can touch it and feel it. It helps us store up life moments better so we can reminisce, cherish the people and events behind it, and feel the various kinds of emotions that life brings. A keepsake is also like a mirror; it shows us how much we cherish our memories and relationships.
It doesn’t mean that we must keep giving gifts to express our love; instead, we can let the person who gifted to us know how much we appreciate what they have done. By telling people, “Your love is still vivid and alive in my memory,” is in and of itself a way to return your love.
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