Her Daddy's Black Bag

I graduated from Warner Robins High School (WRHS) in Middle Georgia way back in 1983. After graduation, most of my classmates scattered like dandelion spores taken by a sudden gust of wind. We landed in all corners of the world. But through the magic of Facebook, I still have contact with many of these fine folks.

 Shari Herrin Bergmann wrote about her daddy's black medical bag.

Shari Herrin Bergmann wrote about her daddy's black medical bag.

Every now and then, I get a note from an old classmate telling me about one of his or her keepsakes. Back in November after I encouraged Facebook friends and Twitter followers to enter the Project Keepsake story contest, I heard from WRHS Class of 1983 alumna, Shari Herrin, although she is Shari Bergmann now.

Shari was not only pretty in high school, but she was also genuinely kind. She always wore a smile on her face when I passed her in the crowded hallways as we shuffled and streamed from one class to the next. I was thrilled to hear from her and hear about her keepsake—or keepsakes.

Shari mentioned two keepsakes in her possession—her father's black doctor's bag and his old stethoscope. I was very interested and asked her to send me a little more information and a photo. She complied.

So, want to know more about her daddy's black bag? Here's what Shari sent to me.

My keepsake is my fathers black doctor’s bag and stethoscope he used while in the Air Force as a Physician’s Assistant. My father gave me the scope when I was pregnant with my son twenty-five years ago, so I could listen to his heartbeat.

My mother gave the bag to me shortly after my father passed away. They are both reminders that I hold near and dear to my heart.

I also used the scope while going through my EMT training six years ago.
— Shari Herrin Bergmann, 2014
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I like the fact that Shari shared two specific memories connected to her daddy's black bag and its stethoscope—that she remembers hearing her son's tiny, life-filled heartbeat with the stethoscope and that she used the stethoscope in her quest to become an Emergency Medical Technician. Reading Shari's story, I couldn't help but think that her father's profession and the keepsake had something to do with her decision to serve the public as a life-saving professional in Ohio.

Shari also shared a bit of good news with me. She is expecting her first grandchild in April. I wonder if she has listened to the baby's heartbeat with her daddy's stethoscope. I bet she has.

Thank you, Shari, for sharing a little about your keepsake with me. I hope you have a wonderful year.

Do you have a keepsake? If so, share its story with friends, family, and the world. Keep storytelling alive. If you don't know where to start, consider buying a copy of Project Keepsake. The book's fifty-five short keepsake stories are examinations of why we keep the objects we keep. The last chapter takes you through the process of writing your own story.

To order a signed copy, click the link on the right. Happy reading! Happy writing!