The item that I would introduce is my hope chest. I received this chest when I was in 6th grade as a Christmas gift from my mother. It is a cedar chest three feet by two feet, with a cloth bench on top. It has a hinged lid that opens to storage.
I chose to introduce this chest because it houses all of my own artifacts. I have notes from high school to my high school sweet heart, mementos from our wedding and I have the artifacts of my two children's birth stored with in it.
When I first received this hope chest I with I could say I knew how important it would be to me, but at a young age, I was unsure why my mother gave me a piece of furniture. I wanted music tapes, clothes, and a hair crimper as a child. I remember feeling disappointed, but that changed over the years, as the chest followed me from home to home collecting more and more bits of me. Now it is a prominent component of what home is to me. Currently it sits in my living room, and when my own daughter comes to visit me, I open the hope chest and I go through my story with her. My story is unique as all of our is, and with her I feel relief to have the hope chest as a way to dig through me and my own past and allow her to touch parts of me. Some conversations are difficult, but having tangible items she can touch, makes the conversations easier...and brings my reality into her hands which allows her to be with the past versions of myself. This is important because I was not able to raise her, due to becoming pregnant at age 16, and placing her in a semi-open adoption. I spent two days with her in the hospital when she was new and tiny. We met again when she was 17. Now we are close and visit as often as we can. The hope chest has been an important part in being able to open myself to her.
My son is not yet interested in the hope chest for his own exploration, but he has sat by while she has went into the chest. And i hope someday he will look through with his own interest driving the dive. As he grew up the hope chest has had a prominent role, so much so that its' importance is almost invisible to him as furniture seems more in the moment functional presence. He used the chest to balance on as he was learning to take steps. It houses his own artifacts of infancy and child hood including his dried up umbilical cord inside, and small outfits he quickly out grew. He sat on the chest to get his shoes tied...built Lego creations on it's cushioned lid while kneeling in front of it. When his friends crowded into the house for sleep overs they sat on it to play xbox games. This hope chest is not just mine, it is his...and it is us.
The hope chest has become a part of this family, that is built of life, sacrifice, and love ....as I have woven my life into its' innards and it has grown full of a my journey into woman hood and this family who has know it in so many various ways. I am so thankful my mother chose to gift me the hope chest.