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If there are two things that my dad and I have in common, it’s that we are both incredibly messy and that we both suck at texting and calling back at good times. Therefore, we are bound to leave each other and many other people endless voicemails and constantly have everyone tell us to clean up.

“Hi curly, it’s dad. Uhh this is our new phone number, it’s the house line, and uh we just wanted to let you know. Okay, we will see you for dinner! Love you love you love you”.

I have this voicemail on repeat as I paced back and forth down the hardwood floor of my dad’s apartment. I look into the bedroom on the left, but it is one I don’t recognize.

My dad is a very messy person, some would have even considered him a low-profile Hoarder. I just like to say that he finds value in each and every possession he owned. With each thing came a different memory, one special and unique. Every photo in that apartment with a backstory to it. “That was the night I accidentally crashed a wedding!” Or “this was your first Halloween!”. My dad always claims to have a reason for keeping what is kept.

I turn into the bedroom that I no longer know. It’s clear now and looks defined. I would even say pretty. The floor was no longer covered in clothes and the shelves were now organized picture frame by picture frame. The TV isn’t blaring at 88 volume. There are no more clothes left in the closet. Something isn’t right with this scene. My father had died, one week prior to this incident. He passed on April 16th, 2020 at 6:52 pm from Lung Cancer, metastatic to his brain. Cleaning out his apartment after was one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. The place I once called home has turned into a place of despair because I can’t look anywhere without wanting to cry. I trace my finger along an old, dusty table. (Yea, my dad was never one for cleaning furniture either). I am met by an orange box, one with nothing indicating what’s inside. I notice it’s small and rectangularly shaped, so I start to assume it’s jewelry or something. Inside this mystery box, I find a simple but stunning gold chain.

I am a lot like my dad in some ways. I want everything to have a backstory and I want to be able to share it with others. I start asking around to my family, asking if anyone knows why dad had this. My aunt sees it and gasps, saying she hasn’t seen it in years. She tells me that my dad had bought it when he lived in Damascus, Syria and everyone knew it as his iconic look. He was 17 at the time of its purchase, the same age I was at the time of this event. She asks me if I would like to have it and that she knows dad would want me to. Of course, I instantly wrapped it around my neck and accepted. Not because it’s beautiful, not because it’s gold, but because it’s my dad’s. It’s a piece of his life story that I get to carry around with me every single day for the rest of my life. So to remember my dad, I keep his necklace around. On the days when I need to talk to him or ask for advice, I grasp or even just see the chain and immediately feel more comfortable. When I miss his voice, I play all the old voicemails that I have from our constant game of phone tag. So while they may not seem like much to anyone else, two of my most valued possessions are a simple chain and a voicemail.

Hi all! My name is Kirsten Corrigan (she/her), and I am so excited to be a part of Her Campus! I'm a freshman at The University of Texas at Austin, but my hometown is Manhattan, NY. I'm a government/political science major and I plan on going to law school after undergrad. A few things about me; I'm an Aquarius, a huge movie buff, I play guitar and love practically any genre of music, and I have an addiction to coffee!
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