paper heart

The drawing (upper left) is from my mom who always sends envelopes with drawings on them. “The Twig and the Tower” (see my blog post about this story) is a little story that Sean wrote for me, about a tiny stick that holds up the Eiffel Tower.
A sweet Valentine’s note from Phil, satin-bound letters, and my notes from Canterbury Cathedral, when I went to see the traveling charred and gold-leaved pieta sculpture. The artist who reclaimed the statue from an old burned church in Germany asked people to leave prayers at the Madonna’s feet in a little box so he could fill her hollow body with them. I left a secular poem/prayer; this piece of paper was a little rough draft. I also wrote “Let God remove your sins,” from the Chapel of the Innocents. I thought it was lovely, though I don’t believe in God or sins. It still works for me.

Here you can see the tornado of a paper ring/ love note that Sean made me ages ago, and a paper-cut “I Love You” that used to be taped to the underside of a lampshade so it threw the words on the wall. The serrated message was wrapped around a loaf of bread Sean sent me home with; he’d always send me home with something delicious, gorgeously wrapped like a Japanese gift.
The V&A schedule on top was a spoof syllabus made by Sean the day he drove me to London for my field trip at the Victoria and Albert museum to see Renaissance art. The faux-syllabus listed all kinds of ridiculous and wonderful things. Under Lunchtime Activities Sean wrote, “Meet Sean at café to avoid panicky social interaction with fellow students.” Under Personal Reminders he wrote, “Get a foot rub by Sean at the end of the field trip,” as if I’d ever forget such a thing. It’s a great memory; he parked illegally right outside the museum so when I walked out, he was right there. He kneeled at side, with my door open, took my boots off, and massaged my feet. It was the most wonderful illegal foot rub ever.  
The “please do not remove” is one of my most treasured belongings, even though it’s just a ripped piece of paper. My kiddos made it for me years ago when I was suffering from depression and couldn’t get out of bed. They left a trail of little notes leading from my bedroom door, to the front door of the house, all the way through Headington, Oxford, down Headington Road, all the way to Headington park. And there at the park were my girls at a picnic bench with a little picnic for me saying, “Hooray mommy, you made it!” It was amazing walking down the road, seeing little flags fluttering here and there, taped onto signs, tied to branches; they were everywhere! Each one said something like, “Good job!” or “You’re almost there!”
That piece of paper will be fluttering in my heart forever. I will never remove it.

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