April 2009 Article
A Labor of Love: Making Memory Boxes by Linda Postma
Cloth butter flies and applique’ flowers bring beauty to a garden made of ribbon twirls and twists of trim. Brilliant tubes of glitter add their sunshine to the scene. Oft-used paint bottles stand at attention like garden statues. A simple, unassuming brown box sits humbly to the side like a bare brown hill amidst this garden of color.
This is how it starts for me when I turn my dining room table into a garden, a garden of beautiful items just waiting to turn a modest paper mache’ box into a treasure. I consider transforming a box to be a sacred task because I am doing it for a mother who is walking down a very lonely road. She has lost a baby.
When I start decorating a memory box, I am not always sure where I will end up. Each box evolves as I work on it. As I pluck a flower from my dining table garden and place it on the box, my mind is filled with new ideas of what to do next. I would like to think that the Lord is providing me with some of His inspiration because I am using the gift he has give n me, using it to show His love.
When the box’s transformation is complete, I then fill it with some of the love I felt as I was making it. I tuck in a soft little bear, a fragrant candle, perhaps a little bracelet. There might also be a tiny angel bead threaded onto long, flowing, beautiful yarns which may mark this mother’s place in a book someday and remind her that a stranger cared about her.
A little note is always included in every box. I want the mom to know what a privilege it is for me to be able to share part of myself with her while she is making such a difficult journey. The three silk rose petals I place in each box are my way of adding a little extra beauty to my gift.
The box will travel the miles until it safely rests in her arms. She will receive it and hold it gently, tilting it from side to side, examining the creation that someone far away made just for her. The box becomes a resting place for20precious memories, perhaps a baby lock of hair, a little blanket, or a cap. That my box will bring some peace and comfort to the heart of a mom with empty arms--that is my prayer.