I grew up with practical parents who had been frightened by the Great
Depression in the 1930's. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil
after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen,
before they had a Name for it... A father who was happier getting old shoes
fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived
barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat
and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the
other. It was the time for fixing things:
a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a
dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that repairing,
eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence.
Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my father died, and on that clear fall night, in the warmth of the
hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there
isn't any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes
away...never to return. So... While we have it... it's best we love it...
And care for it.... And fix it when it's broken..... And heal it when it's sick.

This is true... For marriage.... And old cars.... And children with bad
report cards..... And dogs and cats with bad hips.... And aging parents....
And grandparents. We keep
them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we
keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who
are special.... And so, we keep them close!

I received this from someone who thinks I am a "keeper," so I've sent it to
the people I think of in the same way... Now it's your turn to send this to
those people who are "keepers" in your life. Send it back to the person who
sent it to you if they, too, are a keeper. Good friends are like stars....
You don't always see them, but you know they are always there