That Back Scratcher

I have so many journals and notebooks, and I have been trying to downsize (very difficult). I found one that had letter like journal entries. Those letters were written to my aunt after she died. I started a journal entry by writing about an object that reminded me of her instantly. I didn’t want to hold on to a bunch of objects that I’d personally never use. I only ended up writing about one object which was a back scratcher. It had a bright green, plastic handle that you pulled the metal scratcher out of, like you would an umbrella. The scratcher part was a bear claw. To me it was the ugliest thing ever, but it was cheap and allowed her to scratch the parts of her body that needed to be scratched. This back scratcher was never too far away from my aunt because it could easily be compacted to about six inches compared to the eighteen when expanded. So, it could easily fit anywhere without taking up too much room. Which if you knew my aunt, that was important, because she tended to hoard things.

Last night, I read what I had written about the back scratcher and it involved when she was in the hospital. I was the one who was in charge of bringing her what she wanted/needed when she was in the ICU and then also when she was moved out of the ICU.

This is an excerpt from that journal entry, which was after she was moved out of the ICU.

“When I brought it to the hospital, your face, the smile, the happiness that I lived for. You didn’t ask for it but I thought you would want it since you couldn’t move with all the wires that were attached to you. You took it out of my hand with the excitement a kid would have opening a present. You always had a part of you that was able to stay kid-like.”

I had forgotten that moment, and when I read it for the first time, it was as if my aunt was alive again. It showed me how great it can be to write about a moment, good or bad, and be able to relive it through words. I tend to unconsciously block out a lot of my memories. Some memories do come flooding back naturally, but others do not. I am not sure if I would have ever remembered that moment where I got to see her face spark if I hadn’t written it down.


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