The Weight of Memories

Sifting Through Tombs of Time

Tracy Willis
The Memoirist

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Photo by Tracy Willis

When I was in college, one of my favorite ways to escape my roommates on a rainy Saturday was to visit an antique store in Mt. Pleasant’s downtown district. I’d grab my umbrella, a little cash for a snack, and leave the dorm room drama behind. I always found something little to buy: An antique valentine, a 1960s chunky plastic bracelet or a brittle sheath of turn-of-the-century sheet music. I loved looking at the old tintype photographs in their yellowed cardboard stands. Sometimes, I’d buy one or two and use them for writing prompts. They always made me feel a little sad, though.

Who had these people been? Where were their loved ones? How did they end up abandoned and nameless in musty shoeboxes labeled “2 for a $1?” Was there no one left who loved them?

Photo by Tracy Willis

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” ― Lois Lowry, The Giver

“I need you girls to go through your mother’s walk-in closet,” my father says. My sister is a magician who performs a disappearing act every time I make the four-hour trip to visit my dad. She listens silently on the phone’s…

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Tracy Willis
The Memoirist

I'm a teacher who woke up one day and asked, “How the hell did I get here?” Writing compels me, and I've learned to listen when the universe speaks. Finally.