Curled up on my bed with a good book one night, I happened to glance up and take notice of the inside of my closet, where I had carelessly left the light on and the door open. On the top shelf were several framed photos, awards, and wall decorations that I had neatly stored there while having my living room painted.
But one of the frames was extra long, so I hung it on a small shelf that ran horizontally along the back of the closet. Now lying on my bed, as I glanced up I had the perfect view of that frame. In it was a collage of old family photos of my parents’ wedding day, one photo of my grandparents, and a few others of my brother, sister, and I as children. It was a Christmas gift one year from my sister-in-law. As I glanced at that collage of photos, the one that she duplicated for each member of our family, this time, I began to see it differently than I had ever before.
In perfect view, although hanging in the most unlikely place for a family photo, I saw the thought that went into that gift. It was the perfect arrangement of my childhood memories collected within a frame, and in this moment, I realized that it was my sister-in-law’s longing to be accepted by our family that birthed the idea of such a gift.
Disappointments, misunderstandings, hurtful things said, and other circumstances have found their way into our lives, and we no longer have contact. But I often lay curled up on my bed with a book, and most times I purposefully leave the door open to my closet, and the light on, with that frame in perfect view. It reminds me of several things that I don’t want to EVER forget.
First, it reminds me of someone I miss, and reminds me of someone who made an effort to be a part of my life. That photo reminds me to always remember from where I came, and to remember not only my family, but those who have been added to our family. It reminds me to recognize and appreciate the effort that others make to make me smile. But most of all, it reminds me to accept people, and to love them right where they are at. No matter what.
I know some of this doesn’t make much sense. And I know that it doesn’t make much sense to hang a collage of family photos on a wall in a closet. But for me, it’s very significant, it’s in the perfect spot, and it reminds me every single night as I lie curled up on my bed to read, to thank God for my family – both for those I see often, and those I don’t get to see at all anymore. I think, it hangs in the perfect spot. For now.
The spare room was just painted. The walls are bare. I know the perfect spot, for the picture that now hangs in my closet.
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