Exactly 35 Years Later She Returns Unannounced!!!

Posted on January 15, 2006 by Sara Hickman. | 1 Comment

Perhaps I have mentioned this on my blog, for it can be the only explanation for this mysterious appearance of my childhood guitar, my very first guitar, the guitar I have not seen in 35 years, the guitar I sold the same day I was out on my driveway selling my Halloween candy to the kids in the neighborhood, the same guitar I released into the hands of Grace Das for $10.

Two nights ago, Friday night, the kids announced there was a large package with my name on it. They had found it out by the front door and dragged it into the house. It looked to be an Oreck vaccuum cleaner. iolana said, “No, it is a guitar.”

With my husband and children standing around, curiously speculating on what the box contained, I looked for a return name and address. Only “Parcel Plus” and an address in Houston.

“Hmm, ” I said. I started to cut the binding, racking my brain to see if I could remember ordering a vaccuum cleaner. I do always admire Mr. Oreck. He seems to be an upstanding guy. I like his commercials. We always need another vaccuum cleaner. But no….I haven’t ordered one. What could this be?!

As the tape split apart and the box was opened to a carefully assembled gathering of bubble wrap and cardboard, I recognized, indeed, the shape of a small guitar. iolana was right!

I had the wierdest feeling. Could it be….?

I gently pulled apart the bubble wrap, and the bottom half of a small, goldenrod body appeared, complete with a stainless silver mount for the strings. There was a heart in the mount….

And MY heart was exploding, words pouring out of my mouth…”But this can’t be….Oh, it is! It is!”

“What is it, momma? What is it, honey?” Words coming from my family, surrounding me with love as I kept repeating myself like a crazy mindless parrot.

“It is my very first guitar! My first….” I kinda trailed off, memories of early lessons surrounded by adults in a church sanctuary, strumming “Michael Row the Boat Ashore”, strum strum strum D – A- D. Seven years old. It is cold in this sanctuary. Everyone is old, and I am the only child here. Where are my parents? I keep strumming in my memory.

“Who sent it? Is there a note?” Mad scrambling, everyone looking for a note, a letter, a sign. The box gives no clues.

Nothing. Lance and I are stunned. Where did this guitar come from? Why now? (Lance speculates Grace Das must have bought a new vaccuum cleaner and thought, “What a good box to send Sara her guitar!”)

I marveled. I touched the front, the back, the strings (brand new!), the nicks and scrapes, the criss cross pattern on back where my belt buckle added the first cuts and bruises of so long ago.

I can not believe that this little guitar is still alive! That she is here, in my home, that she has been out there in this gianormous world, sitting somewhere, sitting with someone, and now she has returned, unannounced, humbly. The love and thought….I am in awe.
I am thrilled!!!! I am wanting to give flowers to the kind soul that kept her all these years. And how? How did they know my address?
Who are you, kind angel?

I think it must be Grace. I see at the very bottom of the large, white sticker, covered in bar codes and anonymous numbers, down at the bottom, in small print, at the very bottom of the box are three letters: DAS.

Grace, are you there? Could you feel my joy when the box arrived in Austin? Are you smiling in Houston? Can you answer the mystery? Can I give you your ten dollars back (ha ha!!), wrapped in jubilation and intense gratitude, along with songs and memories and an afternoon of catching up, hearing about your life, your dreams, this little guitar. Did you play this six stringed childhood dream all these years? Do you have children? Did they play it, too?

Bless you, thank you….a miracle….or a co-incidence? For me, I’m sticking with miracle.

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One response to “Exactly 35 Years Later She Returns Unannounced!!!”

  1. Delia says:

    How very nice…..

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