Home » Personal Musings » Of Treasured Keepsakes…and Love

Of Treasured Keepsakes…and Love

It took me 27 1/2 years to throw them away. 27 1/2 years..

Perfume. New packages I took from Mom’s bedroom dresser after she died. Christmas gifts that she never opened.

Christian Dior’s “Poison” and Yves Saint Laurent’s “Opium.” No light florals for her. No, these were a mixture of determination and resilience with undertones of compassion and humor. The woman who wore these scents made a statement; had presence.

27 1/2 years in the bottom drawer of my bedroom nightstand. Packages of perfume that I could touch when I needed to be close; boxes that she had touched, too. They were precious to her…designer fragrances that she couldn’t afford, that she kept for those special occasions that never came.

Over 10,000 days of my life going on when I couldn’t imagine one day without her. I survived, but not without losing parts of me along the way.

In that length of time, I sold my optometry practice and went back to grad school for psychotherapy. I raised a boy into a man and saw him get married to a lovely young woman. A second career flourished in community mental health, higher education and hospice. A difficult divorce and re-marriage. Two moves. Dad’s death, and his burial next to Mom.

So much life has happened, and so much loss. When do I no longer have anything that she touched with the same hands that held mine when we crossed a street, that made me my favorite foods, that touched my fevered brow, that held me when I cried?

Throughout, the constant has been those two perfumes, and my love.

Then again, maybe it’s too soon to throw them away…

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27 thoughts on “Of Treasured Keepsakes…and Love

  1. You have such special memories of your Mother I doubt you need the physical things to touch any more. Why not find two people who might suit the scents and pass them on compliments of your Mother. That way occasionally you may get to smell them and be reminded of your Mother in the nicest possible way.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  2. Your story brings fond memories of my own mother to the forefront of my mind. I still have her cigarette lighter, I don’t smoke so there is really no need to hold on to it but I do. She passed too young (55). That was 42 years ago, yet when I hold that lighter I still feel the love and closeness we shared.

  3. David has a lovely idea to pass them on in her honor. I can understand your keeping them as remembrances of your mother, and when you are ready, you will pass them on. I have a table and chairs and a chest of drawers that my parents bought right after they were married ninety-four years ago that I will keep until I die. We do cling to moments of the past, and if they give us some kind of solace, why not?

  4. I have a delicate china coffee cup that I use sometimes to remember my mother. It’s so cosy and uplifting to sit for a few moments drinking coffee with my mother once again from something that reminds me of her. We were very different types of people, but shared a love for delicate beauty and the pleasure of having coffee together. Somehow, I feel a closeness now that we actually never managed before I got old enough to understand her.
    It isn’t just a return to the past, it’s an experience of closeness that bridges life and death.

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