Monday, October 20, 2008

Like a kid in a.... jewelry store

My mom was the classiest lady I know, and she had impeccable taste.  I, sadly, got very little of that passed on through my genes.  I'm totally lost in a clothing store, and I just recently started carrying a purse (a fact which is making my friend africankelli giddy).  Anyway, my mom could pull off almost any sort of jewelry.  Fancy, costume, big, bold, eclectic...  My dad was kind enough to let me have most of my mom's jewelry.  So on her birthday, a week after she died, my dad, my brother, my husband and I decided we would tackle just that one thing in the long, horrible process of going through someone's lifetime of possessions.  

So, I went into my mom's closet, and you would not believe what I found.  My creative, practical mom had converted a giant fishing box into the mother of all jewelry boxes.  


Right?!  She has every little tiny drawer labeled with what's in there.  So I brought this out to show my family, and we had a really good time looking at all the wonderful things she had in there.  A lot of it was pieces that she'd made herself, including she has a whole collection of necklaces made from beautiful shells she found on the beach.  I know these necklaces well, because even in the hospital she insisted on looking classy, down to the jewelry.  And these necklaces always seemed to come with her.  I know why...  the beach was just so important to her.  But for me, I know that some of those shells came from when she and I were walking on the beach together, just the two of us, in Florida this last January.  

I was so overwhelmed by it all, that we decided that I should take the box home and decide what to keep, and what to give away.  So I've had this box for 2 weeks now, and I realized this last week that every single morning I've been walking to the guest room, where I put the box, to see if there's anything of my mom's that I can encorporate.  I've been feeling really guilty about the whole thing because it's just so much fun to have something new and different every day, but how can I feel happy about something like that?  I KNOW my mom would be thrilled that I'm enjoying it so much, but you know...  

A really thing has happened since my mom died.  I actually started caring about fashion.  Not just "eh, I think I should get a new shirt....", I've actually been lusting after things.  If you knew me, you'd know this is out of character.  I've gone purse shopping TWO DAYS IN A ROW this week.  (Sadly, didn't buy anything.  Did you know that cool purses are over $100?!)

I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that I've heard so much in the last few weeks how much I remind people of my mom, but I definitely have a lot of work to do to catch up with her.  And no, I'm not just talking superficially.  I've also heard countless times in the last few weeks how people never met anyone like my mom; she had infinite patience and compassion for every type of person.  And if there were a store to get that, I'd be shopping for that too....


Blogger Ramona said...

Amanda, I am so,so,so terribly sorry to hear of your mom's death. I do have an idea of how you are feeling as I lost my dad to cancer when I was 34. It is hard to imagine how life can go on so normally, when you feel anything but normal inside. I really think your blog is the perfect place for you to remember your mom by, and it will be a place when you can look back a year from now, years from now and be glad that you did write those memories down.
I am including a poem that I really love and hope that it brings you some comfort.
Your friend,

Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away into the next room

I am I and you are you

Whatever we were to each other

That we are still

Call me by my old familiar name

Speak to me in the easy way you always used

Put no difference into your tone

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we always enjoyed together

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was

Let it be spoken without effort

Without the ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity

What is death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind

Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you for an interval

Somewhere very near

Just around the corner

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost

One brief moment and all will be as it was before

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul's Cathedral

2:48 PM  
Blogger African Kelli said...

love that photo Panda. I hope you snagged it.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Katherine said...

such a great pic!
and I think if you continue to be you, you'll end up more like your mom that you even realize :)

11:07 AM  

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    Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

    I'm Amanda. I'm an engineer in an industry full of men, a professional wedding and family portrait photographer, a firefighter's wife, a traveler, and a dogMa.

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