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They handed me this box with teary smiles: Remember, we love you. It felt like an urn, full of things dead and over. I couldn’t look at it. I carried it home and packed it away, quickly.

Many weeks and miles later we found it at the bottom of a storage container.

Greta: Is that a treasure chest?! What’s inside?!

Me: They said it was full of love.

Greta: Can we open it?

Me: I’m not ready.

Many guests came to visit our new home, Sweet River. They roamed into my office, scanned the pictures and books on my shelves.

Guest: What’s in the box?

Me: I’m not sure. It’s from my friends. They gave it to me before I moved away.

Guest: You haven’t opened it?

Me: I’m thinking of keeping it shut, like a time capsule, until I’m in the nursing home.

Guest: Really?

Me: I’m not ready.

The kids started their new schools. My big house and little heart felt painfully empty. An old friend called, concerned.

Friend: It’s time to open the box.

Me: I’m not ready.

Friend: Aim, it was made for days like this.

Me: I like it all safe in there, they way you left it. I don’t want to lose anything.

Friend: I don’t think you’ll lose anything.

Me: I’m not ready.

My friends gave me the box 158 days ago. Today I thought of all of them going about their lives in the place I used to call home. I thought of how their houses and hair smelled when I hugged them. How we looked out for each other’s kids. How we laughed and cried every Tuesday night. The baby showers and funerals. The hours of prayer, piles of books, bottles of wine. I pictured their faces and missed them deeply. I don’t live there anymore.

I looked out the window, watched the quiet rain, and said,

I’m ready.

div 1


I heard their voices in their handwriting, and I smiled.


They said, “Wear these beads when you open the box. They are filled with our prayers for you. Remember you were circled in love.”


Letters, memories, stories, secrets, pictures


The box is from The Diving Club. We are not afraid. Because God is loving us through each other, we can dive deep.

Today I figured out this Box of Love is a seed chest. Not a memorial for grieving or treasure for hording. Not a keepsake or a stopgap. For the past 14 years my friends and I were sowing and reaping a harvest of love, service, belonging, and faith. They carefully packaged heirloom seeds in many little envelopes and tucked them in this box. For me to grow a new garden.

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go  – Ecclesiastes 3

In time I will grow new gardens of love, listening, community, authenticity, hope, and laughter. Empty furrows will bear sweet fruit. And when I taste it, it will taste like home.


I have been unfolding the idea of Surrender throughout the month of October.  

Yesterday’s story of Surrender: Wrecked

For more about our shared spiritual journey and questions, you can read here:  Soul

© Aimee Fritz and Family Compassion Focus, 2015. 


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