In memory . . .

After my mother passed away last May, my step-father invited my sister and I to come help go through Mom’s things. It was a tender day as we lifted clothes out of the closet and drawers, each item of clothing bringing back the memory of the last time we’d seen Mom wearing it.

When we came to her jewelry box, it was just as hard. Some of the rings she had worn since we were little girls. We’d seen her sorority pins and brooches on her lapels through all the years of our youth. Some earrings had been her mother’s, and then Mom had worn them after my Grandma had died, so there were double the memories associated with them.

By the end of the day we headed home with cars filled with the remnant of our Mother’s belongings, and we each chose our favorites to keep as tangible memories of Mom.

Today I wore one of her necklaces. Occasionally as I was working I would reach up and finger the beads absentmindedly. Tonight as I was undoing the clasp, suddenly I was flooded with the memory of the last time I had undone that clasp for Mom when her hands, stiffened by arthritis, were unable to undo it for herself.

I remember how she would be so excited whenever my step-dad had bought her another beautiful piece of jewelry, and how proudly she would show them to me. I remember leaning over her, brushing her silver hair out of the way, and fastening the clasp around the back of her neck, and then standing back and admiring the jewels, and enjoying Mom’s smile.
I remember her hands, the skin so soft and fragile, and how it felt when she would hold my hands in both of hers and tell me, “Thank you.”

How I wish she were still here, and that I could once again help her with that clasp.

But she is gone, and I miss her. When the memories come, they often bring tears, and an ache in my heart. But I am grateful for the memories I have of her. Those memories help me want to be better, and to make good use of whatever time l may have left in this life.

And someday when it is my turn to leave this life, I’ll see Mom again, and this time I’ll take her hands in mine, and say, “Thank you“.

In memory,

Roslyn

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