In honor of Mother’s Day earlier this month, I posted a Facebook tribute to my mother along with her picture, and I invited readers to do the same. The response was amazing. The number of people reading the post and sending corresponding tributes to their own moms was heartrending. Their words touched me deeply.
Whether still with us or gone, mothers are our past more than, perhaps, any other person in our lives. And we do cherish the past. It’s part of us. This is why we save old pictures, keep memorabilia in special boxes, and pass heirlooms given to us by our parents on to our children in turn. Prominent in Blueprints is a swatch of Victorian lace taken from Caroline’s mother’s wedding dress. It is framed and hangs on a wall, waiting to be passed down to Caroline’s daughter, Jamie. Like an ink blot, the lace can reflect what the viewer is feeling. It has been part of Jamie’s life forever. She can’t imagine never seeing it again.
In its way, that framed lace is a little lovey – a special something we either look at or touch that relates to our roots and brings us pleasure. I have little loveys. So do my kids. While cleaning my basement recently, I found a carton filled with the stuffed animals that one of my sons, a parent now himself, had loved to bits. From time to time when his kids come over, we go to the basement and they pick an animal to take home. Much as I feel bad for the loveys left in the box, I’m thrilled that some will become active loveys again.
See, I personalize these toy creatures, always have. During my own childhood, when my mother was ill and I needed constancy of loving, my stuffed pets gave it to me. And I loved them back. To this day, I mourn the loss of a Snoopy dog that went to the laundry and never returned. I know these pets are toys, but a part of them are real to me still. Right now, as I write this, it makes me feel so good knowing that the small stuffed kittens in my closet are protecting the ashes of my beloved cat, Chelsea, who died several years ago. Can you see the love that has left its mark on these kitties?
One of my sons had a teeny remnant left from his baby blanket after it had been washed to death. It was a piece of the satin edging of the blanket. When he was, what, four or five, he used to put his thumb in his mouth and rub the satin edging against his face, while he made a little mmmm-mmmm humming sound. We took to calling that little rag his “piece of mmmm,” which kind of captured the sense of contentment that scrap brought him.
Contentment is what it’s about. Comfort. Pleasure. Calm.
How about you? Do you have any gems of your past the bring comfort? Any childhood soothers? Little loveys that you’ve had forever? Post pictures, please!