Sadness is a blessing

A few months ago – I don’t know what it was that triggered it – I suddenly remembered these two dresses that my mum sewed for me many years ago. (Mum was an excellent seamstress. She sewed me all manner of things when I was growing up. The baby pillow that she sewed for me before I was born, I still sleep with it every night and it goes in my hand luggage when I travel. Seriously.)

Now these are not fancy dresses you wear to go somewhere. These are the kind you wear around the house. One is red with white flowers, the other is leopard print. I’d wear them on and off over the years but I guess I kind of forgot about them and hadn’t worn them for a long time. I felt this urgent need to find them – you know, see them with my eyes and hold them in my hand. So I dug them out of my closet. They were in great condition, still, if only smelling a little musty from not having been worn for so long. I washed them, and upon drying, discovered that the leopard print one had a broken zip. I put it back in my closet and put on the red one. Since then, that dress has been in my regular rotation of “home clothes”. I’m terrified of wrecking it from wearing it so often, but she sewed it not for me to keep it untouched in my closet. She sewed it so I could wear it. So I’m going to wear it.

Last night I watched a French movie called Je Suis Heureux Que Ma Mère Soit Vivante (I’m Glad My Mother Is Alive). In a nutshell, it’s about a boy’s relationship with his mother. It’s got nothing to do with my relationship with my mother; I can’t relate to it at all. But I suppose the subject matter alone was enough to make me think of my mum. Halfway through the movie, I recalled that there’s actually another dress that she sewed for me, not just the two. It’s green, with white flowers. Again, I haven’t worn it for a while but I know it’s in my closet somewhere. I let the movie finish before going to look for it. But by this time it was 11 and it was time to go to bed. So I told myself I’ll look for it this weekend. And when I find it, I’m going to wear it often too.

Wearing the clothes she made me, thinking of her…it doesn’t make me miss her less. In fact, it makes me miss her more. But that’s okay. Dead mothers are meant to be missed.

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5 thoughts on “Sadness is a blessing

  1. You are definitely allowed to miss her. I think the little mementos we keep from people who’ve died help us remember them. Remembering can be a little painful sometimes, but forgetting would be worse.

    (I love that you take the baby pillow everywhere!)

    I have a little jewelry box my Pappy got me before he died and I’ll never, EVER replace it. I have a couple necklaces from my Grandma (I wore one of them to my prom) and I have my Peepaw’s hat on display in my bedroom (his hats and a cigar where his signature items). Every now and then, I’ll put it on. (I need to be more like him, he was always so calm and collected.)

    I think it’s great that you’re wearing the dresses she made for you. I just hope they bring you smiles. She’d probably like that. ❤

    1. Hats and cigars were his signature items? Your Peepaw sounded like a very classy guy. 🙂

      I live in constant fear of forgetting her. I don’t think I could ever forget her as the person who existed as my mother, but I am forgetting things like…her voice. I hate to admit it. It drives me crazy that I can longer recall her voice. How could you forget your own mother’s voice? Well, turns out you can, when you haven’t heard it for seven years.

      I keep so much of her stuff still; some are normal and fine (e.g. her wallet), some a little strange and invite sideways glances when I mention it to people (e.g. her shoes, all dried up and crackly). I cannot imagine ever throwing them away. I think what it is, is that if I should lose my memory or otherwise lose my ability to speak of her, there’d be all her belongings to prove that she was real.

      Ay. I don’t know where I’m going with this. I now have a big ol’ lump in my throat. I should stop. 🙂 But yeah. Those mementoes keep their memory alive. They keep us alive.

      1. He was a pretty classy guy.

        Martini with an olive too. He was basically ripped straight out of an old Hollywood movie, haha.

        I think keeping her shoes is great! I think that’s probably why I keep little mementos around. I have memories tied to these things and they remind me of good and happy times. Sometimes we just need a little reminder. 🙂

  2. I haven’t been following your blog for long, but I didn’t know you lost your mother. I can’t imagine what that would feel like. I love that you wear the dresses she made. Even if the memories bring sadness, they’re worth holding onto. xx

    1. Eight years this September, Cloudy. It was awful. It gets less and less awful as the years go, but it’s still so very awful, and eight years on, it still has the ability to stop me in my tracks if I remember it out of nowhere. But I’d rather feel sad than feel nothing.

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