Almost three years after Mom’s death, I continue to find things she — and Dad — saved. Yesterday was a day of days as I tackled cobwebs. Mom feared open windows and closed doors: open windows meant drafts, and closed doors signified secrets. So of course all the spider places are along window tracks she never used, behind open doors she never closed. As I crawled around cleaning, I was distracted by cabinet doors Mom never dusted — but then, who wipes down cupboard doors, or any other doors, these days?
I found her sewing box in a wet bar cabinet. It is a plastic multi-tiered affair of avocado green, and inside I found a mostly unused spool of lime green thread. Mom bought that thread for the pants I made in my 7th grade sewing class. The pants were indeed lime green, high-waisted, flare-bottomed, with a zipper at the back. I remember getting an A on the project; I was so proud of that zipper! Mom, on the other hand, had nothing good to say about my pants: she hated the color, the fabric, the cut. A few years ago, Mom and I were talking about something to do with sewing, and I said I was too scared of zippers, and she said she remembered that I did a good job on the pants zipper. I am sure in her memory, she liked the pants too!
In the wet bar, in a drawer that is a repository of obsolete remote controls and cordless phone sets, I found a small ziplock bag with a few bits of broken shells and rocks. When the College Student was 8 or 9, we stopped at a beach in Santa Barbara on our way to a family reunion. The College Student forgot the bag when she packed to come home, then she forgot about the shells entirely. Mom saved it, because she’s Mom. She would not have wanted to tell her granddaughter that she tossed her little treasures.