I have this little Coke bottle on a shelf in my kitchen. I've had it for more than 20 years. It is the size of coke that cost 5 cents when I was a child. It is chipped, nicked, and scratched. Still, it managed to survive the "purging" I went through when we made our recent move.
I'm not exactly sure WHY I kept it all these years. I'm sure its condition renders it nearly valueless.
But to me it is priceless for it has a story to tell - - -
When our oldest son Kelly, shown here about to put his little sister out of her misery forever, was 11 or 12 he had a friend named Stephen that used to spend long hours at our house.
On several of those occasions, the two boys rode their bikes a few blocks to the River Greenway. At FIRST I thought they were simply riding their bikes. When they came home all muddy and wet, I realized there had been more of river and less of greenway in their afternoon.
I thought nothing of it other than boys would be boys and the call of the wild and the water was more than they could resist. Muddy clothes could be washed. I gave them stern warnings to be very careful to stay in shallow water.
Soon, they began to bring home "treasures" from their river visits, treasures they dug out of the muck in the river bed - - - stones, broken glass, and bottles. My little green coke bottle is one of those treasures. I have NO IDEA what happened to the REST of their collection, but I liked this bottle and kept it.
Roll old man time forward 20 years.
Kelly is now an adult, is about to bless us with our first daughter-in-law, and is still fascinated with water, boats and bottles. Together. At the same time. His boat on the water, and I'll let you guess about the rest.
He safely navigated and survived the "water" of all the years of his adolescence.
His older sister, the mother of our wonderful grans, still lives in the same town with that river, that mucky river bed, and that greenway. Her husband is a policeman there.
A few months ago, the police were called to that river bank. Not to the exact spot where Kelly and his friend Stephen spent so many happy hours - - - a little farther down under "the bridge." Seems some OTHER children had found the allure of the river irresistible, only with tragic results. Two of them fell into a hole and drowned.
The MOMENT I heard that news, my mind flew back to two tousled, blond-headed boys who somehow managed to escape that fate, and to the mother who allowed them to play at that river.
Now the coke bottle takes on more meaning than ever. It is a reminder of the protection, care, and blessing that were given to two young boys by a guardian angel when neither they nor their mama realized they were even in need.