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BETWEEN THE LINES

Filling my mom's shoes

My mom died five years ago today. She left her husband, two daughters, five grandchildren, two great-children (now six) and a lot of jewelry. She loved all kinds of sparkle, from garish (sorry, Mom) costume stuff to exquisite Indian silver and turquoise pieces.

My daughters and sister have taken the pieces they love and I’ve kept some of the smaller ones. Whenever I do an author reading, I wear one of them, to honor her. She died before my first novel was published, but my mom was a voracious reader, and I know she would have been proud. She would also have been critical. That’s just the way she was.

I don’t know what to do with the heavy silver and turquoise pieces. They wear me down even more than when I was a child and liked to parade around the house in them. So they sit in a safe deposit box, waiting for inspiration.

One other thing: I wear my mom’s shoes.

We never shared shoes or clothes when she was alive. She was bigger than me, her feet too. But for some inexplicable reason, one pair of her shoes fits perfectly. They’re Merrill clogs, furry lined and very warm. And now they are well-worn, splattered with who-knows-what and fondly gnawed by my cats.

But I can’t discard them, any more than I can get rid of that box of jewelry. I miss you, Mom.
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