When Kaitlyn was a little girl, I adopted 2 kittens from someone I worked with. One was black, one was white. Her sister Stephanie named the black one Salem after a cat on a show on TV. Kaitlyn named the white one Friend-a-lee (not Friendly, Kaitlyn had to be unique).
Friend-a-Lee was a rather calm and sedate cat and a female. She wasn’t much on being playful, but she was a good cat. Salem, on the other hand, was quite a clown and he just charmed us from the beginning. We would see him on the girls’ swing set (the two-seater) out in the backyard with his leg flopped over the side like he was the King. He was just such a funny loving cat and we loved him as well as Friend-a-Lee. And oh was he handsome. He was jet black with no other color and he was big. Kaitlyn and I had a special love for cats and she adored them as did I.
One day, just as big Salem had just reached full adulthood, he got hit by a car and killed on the road. When Kaitlyn came home from school I had to tell her and she cried her little heart out. I guess she was around 9 or 10 years old. Her little heart was broken and I cried right along with her because I’m so tenderhearted with animals and innocent beings.
Allyn dug his grave at the edge of our yard and we had his funeral. But this was not enough for Kaitlyn. She came up with the idea of a memory jar. We would write out separately on little pieces of paper the things that were so special about Salem and put them in that jar, and so we did. The jar was full of memories of Salem.
I kept that Jar in my den for years and years and years. Then finally one day, years after Kaitlyn went away to college, I either threw it away or perhaps it’s in a trunk with all her other childhood memories, I’m not sure. But I looked at that jar many times and read its contents, and I let it remain just where she put it in my den for many years.
In a way Kaitlyn, this blog is my memory jar. My memory jar for you. With all the good memories of you and how special you were to all of us. Sure it’s filled with grief, because we don’t have you here anymore, but your memory will go on in my mind, many people’s minds, and this memory jar. I never thought I would make one for you.