On my office desk at work there’s a tiny wooden box, open at the top, containing 13 “Forever” postage stamps, three safety pins, a ring I found, a single spacer for laying tile, a dime and a penny.
There’s also a spare clicker – a duplicate of the one mounted in my truck – that opens and closes the parking lot gate remotely each morning when I arrive, each evening when I go home.
They’re not keepsakes, just odds and ends really, stuff I’d forgotten about as I’m always asking my wife for stamps because I can’t remember where I put mine.
But this morning, lost in thought, cradling a cup of coffee, it was this box that drew my attention.
And I smiled.
I don’t recall now how I came by it but neatly etched into one side of the three-inch tall container is the message “World’s Greatest Dad” and below that a lighthouse, maybe an inch-and-a-half high at most.
There are no lines extending from the lantern room as if to warn ships at sea of dangerous rocky shoals while at the same time announcing that nearby is the gate-like entrance opening to the harbor.
The lighthouse now just casts a shadow, a monument to what was, days long since gone by but where there were once those so thankful it was there.
Thinking of my father.