The Envelope

29 Jul

A while back, as I was packing for a weekend get-a-way with my husband, I came across a large envelope tucked away at the back of my dresser drawer. Hidden and forgotten, this envelope had laid there, still sealed shut, for nearly four years.

Holding it in my hands, I wondered if I should finally open it. But I didn’t. Instead, I slipped it back into the drawer with every intention of forgetting it existed. 

A week or so later, I was still thinking about that envelope. It bothered me. And so I decided that the envelope had to go. I would open it, and then I would get rid of it. That decided, I ripped it open.

Inside that envelope were the “before, during, and after” pictures my plastic surgeon had given me at the completion of my reconstruction. Alone, I spread the 8 x 10 pictures out across the comforter of my bed. A visual story of my cancer journey.

Cancer is a journey best traveled one day at a time. The fresh scars in the photos were not unfamiliar to me. Yet, the sight of all those pictures together at one time seemed overwhelming and shocking, each picture bringing back memories better left forgotten.

I started feeling light-headed and wondered if maybe I should not have opened the envelope after all.

But then a really good idea occurred to me. I gathered up the pictures, and I shoved them all through the paper shredder. They made a most satisfying sound as they were ground up into teeny bits. I felt myself smiling. And I knew that envelope of pictures would never be able to bother me again.


2 Responses to “The Envelope”

  1. bobbiejayne July 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    hi jill. i loved your post about the envelope. its a good life lesson for me in many ways. thank you for sharing these feeliongs. hugs and love from bobbiejayne.

  2. writergirldreams July 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    Hello Sister. What do you do if the envelope is tucked away inside your brain? This is the hard part for me. Letting go of what is done and not letting my brain pull out the memories, late at night, pieces scattered all over my bed…

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