Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Mother's Dresser

I finally got up the courage to go through my mother's dresser. Two years have passed since she died, and in that time I've gone through the entire house, emptying and sorting. In June, my sister and I emptied the dresser. It was hard, but not as hard as it would have been last summer, when we were emptying out the attic. My mother's dresser was neat as a pin and smelled like lavender. I photographed almost every item, unwilling to let her personal things go without retaining a memento. Jewelry, scarves, my father's wartime ID bracelet (before dog tags), a necklace of gold beads that had belonged to her mother, dress gloves, a box full of discarded hearing-aid batteries with hundreds of notations in her handwriting, signifying the dates they had been changed. Her bedroom, her private sanctuary for 67 years, now bears no trace of her. But I have the photographs, and the handkerchiefs (my sister has the gold beads). I remember her giving one to me every Sunday when I was a kid (I would pick). That was so I would have something to carry in my purse besides the dime for the church offering. The lace and the embroidery was done by Grandma Tucker.

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