Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken up the challenge of finally doing something about this pig pin I call a bedroom. I’ll admit, I haven’t been very good at cleaning up. Not that I’m unable to let go of things or that my definition of trash is off, I just haven’t been focused enough to actually get it all done. The bright side: I can see parts of my floor I had forgotten about.
In the process of shifting through old bank statements, tax returns, and student loan information, I began to uncover little bits of my past hidden away under almost 10 years of responsibility. My college years had, literally, dumped its baggage on my childhood, allowing me to forget some things. I want to share some of them today.
I can’t tell you why, but I used to be an obsessive ticket stub hoarder. Maybe I was going to make a scrapbook or something. Maybe my young self thought there might be some value left in them. I guess, perchance, the latter isn’t too far from the truth.
See, I found this collection of stubs stashed away in a old Dallas Cowboys bank. My first Tennessee Titans game (sacrilegious, I know); my first Nashville Predators game. And the movie tickets: Rugrats, Final Fantasy, X2, The Time Machine, Tomb Raider, and Monsters INC among so many others. Movies I’ve come to love over the years; movies I’ve realized weren’t as good as I thought they were as a child. But of all those movies, of all those ticket stubs, two really surprised me – Batman and Robin and Titanic. One of the worst movies made in my lifetime, and one of the greatest films of all time. I don’t remember them because of that though. I remember because I saw those with my dad.
After being taken in by my aunt and uncle, my sister and I formally made our return to our church home at 904 Lawrence Avenue. The church of Christ that meets there has always been a source of family for me. My family was once one of the “great families” there. You know what I mean when I say that: rather large and seated with some measure of influence and power among the members. My grandfather was a preacher, and he, like so many others, got his start at Lawrence Avenue.
Well, that isn’t what this is about. My grandfather’s oldest son, my Uncle C as I would call from time to time, taught the middle school Wednesday night bible class. For a guy as calm and cool as my Uncle C, he certainly didn’t take much foolishness. But as hard as he could be with discipline, and as boring and monotonous as he could be reading scripture in class, he certainly knew how to get us excited to play games. The classic Bible Drill being our favorite. He would award the winners and participating individuals points that he would track and tally at the end of each month. The person with the highest point total at the end of the month got one of these “Monthly Merits.” Not much to look at, sure, but notice the cash. We could cash in our tokens for $2 a piece the next month.
I never got the chance to cash mine in. RIP, Uncle C.
I don’t know how old this is, but I estimate it to be as far back as middle school. I assure you, it’s exactly what it looks like: a box of shredded paper. It is also a birthday present from my sister. From what I do remember, it was supposed to be a game she made up for me. I don’t think she ever explained it to me; I probably never let her try. I didn’t understand it, so I didn’t appreciate it. I was wrong.
I would be wrong quite a bit over the years.