I have six messages saved on my phone. One which has been parked in voicemail purgatory for at least four years. Each means something to me, which is why I’m pack-ratting these snippets like a monkey hoards bananas:

  1. My 4-year-old niece singing “Happy Birfffday” on July 31, 2006. I was in the midst of traveling, missing home and needing a little love. I still play it and melt all the way down to my toes.
  2. Ryan, then 11, calling to ask my secret and spectacular recipe for macaroni & cheese. Made me feel like I have something one-of-a-kind to offer. Even if it’s just mac-n-cheese.
  3. My love, who said nothing but allowed the phone to record the radio playing William Topley’s Delta Rain.
  4. The first phone call I received from a major editor saying she liked my stuff.
  5. A youth (who I won’t name), accidentally leaving a message about a porno number he saw spray-painted on a phone booth at a skate park. His cell somehow dialed mine and recorded the conversation he shared with a peer. Reminds me to pray my guts out for the many amazing kids in my life. And to love them.
  6. A good friend and on-the-spot lyricist singing a song made up on the fly. She was willing to risk her pride to make me laugh. Inspires me to be risky and a little crazy about showing love.

What messages do you hang on to?