2 Jan
2015
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The Power of a Ticket Stub

There’s a gold box in a drawer in my nightstand that’s bursting with memories. I’ve kept one ticket from every concert, movie, amusement park and athletic event we’ve been to in our 13 1/2 years of marriage. I’m a recovering hoarder of mementos. I’m light years better than I used to be, but ticket stubs, photographs and the occasional map and pamphlet are still hard for me to part with.

I’ll come home from an event and slip the newest memory into the box. A gold ribbon barely keeps the lid attached to the container. Some of the tickets represent experiences I’ve shared only with my husband or just my boys or maybe my daughter. A lot of the tickets represent something we were all at, whether we were a family of 3, 4, 5 or 6 at the time.

pile of random ticket stubs

I can time travel with those tickets. I’ll pick a random ticket from the box and be transported to that place. I remember the first University of Wyoming football game we took our third son to when he was four months old. He slept cuddled in blankets while the crowd cheered and the canon fired for each touchdown scored. I remember that feeling of being the best parent on the planet when The Wiggles stepped on stage and my two oldest boys (toddlers at the time) lost their minds. I hold the ticket from the first concert we took our oldest to: Casting Crowns. I can still see his face as he sang along, and hear him tell me afterward it was “perfect.”

Each of those ticket stubs is a a snapshot of this crazy life. I’m grateful for those opportunities and hours spent with these people I get to call family. I’ve had moments when I’ve told myself it’s silly to keep ticket stubs. I’ve contemplated throwing them in the trash when I’m on an organizing kick. Getting rid of that box doesn’t negate the memory. I know this, but would regret letting the tickets go.  I enjoy picking a ticket up and saying, “Remember that time…” triggered by the touch of a scrap of paper.

I always feel the need in the new year to go through closets and drawers to simplify and dispose of clutter. I picked up my gold box and decided to take my memories out of hiding. I went through every ticket bombarded with memories. There’s a whole lot of joy in that box. I’m a feeler to the nth degree. Joyful tears were shed over those tickets. I sat on the floor in our family room and blurted out random memories to whomever was within earshot. Some events I’d forgotten. I loved telling our 10-year-old I sat pregnant with him at a heavy metal concert, Metallica, and spent most of the time wondering if his little developing ears could handle the onslaught of noise.

The years of accumulating tickets now rest displayed in a shadow box in our bedroom. I can’t see every ticket in the jumble of small pieces of paper, but I know what’s in there. They make me smile which was reason enough to not throw the tickets away.

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