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Archives 101: I…Hoard

Archives 101: I…Hoard

If you have been hanging around the site and my social media accounts for the last week I have been talking about unpacking my journey with grief.  No, it’s not Tuesday, but I spent my #GriefTalkTuesday talking with others about grief, and continuing to go through my dad’s stuff that was in storage.

Okay so I realized something.  Well, I honestly saw the pattern years ago but I finally owned it this week.  I hoard.  I hoard PAPERS!  I love words on paper, on a screen, but especially on paper.  Words strategically placed can tell a story, a very POWERFUL story.  You get those words together with dates, and you can build a timeline.  That’s exactly what I’ve been doing all week.  Piecing together a timeline to show my family’s history.

So, I get it honestly.  My dad kept EVERYTHING!  Organized for his easy access.  I think, anyways.  In one box there were childhood photos, old bills, the purchase agreement for his truck, instruction manuals, and land deeds.  I’ll explain the land deeds later, because it requires its own post!

I always knew that my grandfather was a visionary, but the more I unpack my dad’s “archives” I realize how much of a leader my grandfather truly was.  Your leadership skills are proven when you are absent, and your team is still great!

I found this gem (featured photo).  I knew that my dad always tried to plan ahead.  Well, he clearly got that from my grandparents, especially my grandfather.  If you’ve been rockin’ with me for a minute you would know how I feel about life insurance.  It’s important.  Scratch that, it’s VERY IMPORTANT.  This policy is proof that my grandfather was always thinking about the future.  Twenty cents a week to insure your child!  Imagine insuring over five at that time.  It was worth it, I’m sure!

Maybe I need to retire the word “hoard.”  I need to focus on what does my personal archives say about myself and my legacy.  What story will be told after I’m gone?  I understand that life is truly the hyphen punctuation (you know life is the dash) in every journey.  I decided a couple of years to focus more on the future, but taking it one day at a time.  As we are working towards closing out 2015, let’s plan to do more for ourselves, and our legacies.  Create, Protect, and Preserve!

Day 14 – “Conspiracy” #SteeleThankful (30 Days of Thanks)

Day 14 – “Conspiracy” #SteeleThankful (30 Days of Thanks)

Caution: this post is not about aliens, religion, or unicorns.

I promise.

Once upon a time I popped up some place. Okay it happens often. That’s why my friends refer to me as Carmen Sandiego. Okay, let me try this again.

Once upon a time, I received a phone call that my dad was in the hospital. I was living over 13 hours from home and it bothered me that I couldn’t be there. My father was in the hospital the previous year but I had just returned to work after my accident so I wasn’t able to go home. Well, this time it was around his birthday and I said guess what I don’t care what my family says I’m going home.

I called two of my closest friends and told them my plans. One of them agreed that she would pick me up from the shuttle stop and take me directly to the hospital. Well, I missed my flight. The first time that’s ever happened! My direct flight had turned into a long layover. I was crushed. I just wanted to get home. Oh, you’re wondering where “conspiracy” comes in. The definition of conspiracy is to form a secret plan that’s typically to the detriment of someone. This wasn’t the case. It was a secret plan alright!

My other friend picked me up from the shuttle stop and drove me right on to the hospital. It was getting late and I wasn’t sure if they still had the rules of visiting hours so I was speed walking to the security desk. Received my dad’s room assignment and we were off (we referring to my luggage).

I got to my dad’s room. His door was cracked but I could hear him on the phone. I gently knocked and then opened the door. It was as if he had saw a ghost. Well, that’s actually what he said. He told the person on the other end, “man I gotta let you go my daughter just surprised me from North Carolina.” My dad instructed me to come over and give him some “sugar.” Anyone that knows my dad knows that was out of character for him. So, I knew that my “secret plan” had worked. My mom was overjoyed, and my siblings couldn’t believe I pulled it off.

My friends and I helped conspire a surprise visit for my dad. I will be forever grateful for that precious moment that I will never forget.

What are you #SteeleThankful for?

Joking around with my sister early in the morning while in my dad's hospital room.
In my dad’s hospital room, joking around with my sister.