Yesterday, we went Christmas shopping. We bought a piece of art for one of the kids, and then wandered into one of Cara's favorite bookstores to look at what they have. Mixed in with books old and new, they have some antique things.
I saw a bank that evoked a memory so vivid that it took my breath away. The little globe read "Save a coin, save the world" around the base. My father had come home from work on my fifth birthday and handed an identical one to me with a few coins inside. I'd never had a bank before, and was tickled pink with the idea of having my own money.
I had sat on the floor of our house, taking coins out of the bank, depositing them again, and once again dumping them on the floor to begin again. I remembered hearing my father say, "You know, she really seems to like it." I didn't understand what he meant. I had looked at my little bank, and I wondered why he would say such a thing. Why on earth wouldn't I like it?
51 years later, my eyes misted, and I understood. That bank had been a free gift from our bank. My father must have stopped on the way home from work to pick it up. There had been no money for anything else.
My little metal bank had a dent in the middle of Europe, a small one. I picked this bank up, and saw a small place where the paint had peeled away.
I did like that bank, very much, and I don't know where it went, but I stood in the middle of that store, studying that little globe covered with names of countries that no longer exist, thinking of my parents now also both gone from this world. When Tim came over, I said, "You know, here's a Christmas idea for me..."