It’s December 28, 2014, a few days after the first Christmas without my Mom, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, reflecting, thinking and reflecting. Looking through papers and things of hers, if only to feel closer to her during the holidays…especially this holiday.
So, yesterday, the Saturday after Xmas, I’ve finished my errands outside of the house, I’m home and had decided to straighten up things that have been on my list for a long time. Cleaning up stacks of paperwork that have been begging to be organized and filed for ages, put away the wrapping paper, bows, tissue paper and ribbons, clean the birds, wash the dog, vacuum the floor, clean the bathroom…all those things that you really must do, but really don’t want to do, uh-huh!
So, as I am going along, one thing leads to another and I made the decision to bring my mother’s end table into my bedroom. I had bought it for her when she first decided to come live with me and I liked it very much. Now of course, it just reminds me of her when I look at it. It needs to be refinished as she had ruined the surface during her OCD days, but I will do that in the springtime. I brought the table into my room and started making a few changes, cleaning around, moving things from here to there. It was kind of nice, a quiet time in my weekend, almost like getting myself re-grounded after a hard year. As a kid, I had always felt like a new person after moving the furniture around in my bedroom, which is what yesterday was feeling like to me. Some people need to go out and spend money…I move furniture!
As I was going through the motions, I came across a box of jewelry that Mom had sent to me before she moved here. It wasn’t expensive jewelry, mostly costume from the 60’s & 70’s, but I had remembered some it from when I was younger. I had looked through it back when she had sent it, but didn’t pay much attention, which seems to be my MO. I always feel funny in a situation like that. I know darn well she sent those things to me because she was thinking of death and dying as older people eventually do…but I don’t feel the right to it until later, afterwards, so I ignore it. Well, yesterday, I paid more attention, looking at each piece carefully. I came across many little pieces that I remember her wearing to her job and a few things that I didn’t remember.
Then, there was one thing that stood out, a very tarnished silver ID bracelet with her name on it. Instantly, it brought me back to a story that she told me a few years ago, when she still had a memory and could articulate it, before the dementia had taken over her mind. As the story goes…when her and her sister Lillian were just kids, a new Pastor came to their church, St. Andrews. Apparently Lillian had quite a crush on this good-looking Pastor, but it was just a schoolgirl crush and maybe the pastor knew about it or maybe not. We’ll never know the answer to that.
One Sunday, after Sunday school, the Pastor gave my mother a little ID bracelet and poor Lillian was so hurt by it. She felt awful and so did my Mother. Mom didn’t have a crush on the Pastor, she was 5 years younger than her sister and probably wasn’t interested in any boys at that point. Lillian eventually got over it, grew up, got married and had 4 beautiful children…so what was meant to be, indeed happened.
Getting back to the ID bracelet, the instant that I saw it, read her given name on it, the story that she had told me a few years earlier came flooding back to me. I wished that I could have made the connection before now and was able to show her. I’m sure that she didn’t even remember that she had sent it to me in the first place. Sometimes I think that she leads me to find things to make a connection to it’s meaning…from wherever she is…not so far-fetched. Stranger things have happened, which is another story for another time as this was not the first time this has happened since she left us.