After Mama died in 1993, I spent about a month cleaning out her house. Anybody who has gone through this horrible experience can understand. Anyone who hasn't can't. No matter how sympathetic or empathetic you are, you can't really understand. It's not just the pain of losing your parent, it's a feeling of complete dislocation. Of losing your home.
My parents were gone. My childhood was gone. As an only child, I had no witness to my childhood. And now my place, my home, all the details of my upbringing were disappearing.
But as I sorted through room after room of all of the belongings I grew up surrounded by, all the "things" that made up my childhood, I did make a few amazing wonderful discoveries.
Underneath Mama's bed, I found a box. Just an ordinary box from a department store, the size you'd put a sweater in. But inside, I found a treasure trove. Mama had kept all of her favorite things I had made for her throughout my childhood.
Crayon drawings, poems, Valentines. Letters I'd written to her from Girl Scout camp. A house made out of a small milk carton. A turquoise naugahyde wallet. Earrings made out of bottle caps covered with glitter.
I'd had no idea that she'd kept these things. It was so dear, so...motherly. That she'd kept these silly little things, and held them dear all of those years.
And finding it felt as though I'd been given a gift from her. Tangible proof of a happy, love-filled childhood. Knowing that I'd loved her enough to make all these things for her, and she loved me enough and treasured what I'd given her enough to have kept them in her safe, hidden place.
Of course, I couldn't keep everything. When you're faced with sorting through and dealing with every single belonging which someone has accumulated at the end of their life, you have to get a little cut-throat. Did I, a 32-year old woman, really need 6 Christmas sweaters? The complete works of James Herriot? 15 crystal candy bowls? My grandmother's entire set of Fostoria glassware? Well, yeah, I did need that, but the other stuff, not so much.
And so, most of the treasures in the box went into the bin. But I did manage to save a few of my favorites, two of which I will now share with you. These two were the ones Mama treasured the most, each for a very different reason...
Happy Mother's Day y'all!
As always, visit each and every one of this week's "Mother" spins!
Nain at View From Down Here - RETURNING to the SPIN CYCLE!
SuziCate at The Water Witch's Daughter - NEW on FRIDAY!
Jan at Jan's Sushi Bar - NEW on FRIDAY!
Jen at Sprite's Keeper - NEW on FRIDAY!
Next week on The Spin Cycle...
I thought I'd follow up last week's "Words" with next week's "Pictures".
Picture Perfect? Picturesque? Picture worth a thousand words? Motion picture? Moving picture?
Write your Picture spin some time this week and let me know you did in a comment here. I'll link you up. Any questions? Click on the "Spin Cycle" tab up top.
See you then.
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