When I was little my Mum had a small enamel jar that sat on her dressing table. Mostly white with an intricate design of bronze inlay and floral enamel. A solid and heavy container that she used for something that I can’t remember. I never asked where she acquired it and it was different to a lot of the other decorative items that our home held. Maybe because it sat on my Mum’s dressing table or maybe just because of its beauty this little jar has held, as a physical vessel, feelings and impressions of my mum.
Do you have something similar? An object or symbol that is unique to your Mum. Maybe it is a flower, a piece of clothing, an artwork or even jewellery. An object that as a child you found intriguing or mysterious, that seemed to have a story beyond what your mother revealed to you about her life.
Is there something in these objects that is a reflection of who our mothers really are, as people, not just as mothers? Maybe these objects hold their allure not only because they are beautiful but because they are also a symbol of our mother’s humanness, a window into their separateness from us, a mystery that no child can resist. A wonder that your mother had a life before you?!
The same attachment to memory and feeling can be true of other decorative items in our home. A beautiful personal object in your home can help to tell the story your family or your life. Your travels, your desires, your memories, your dreams and achievements. Sculptures, photos, art, ornaments, all of these can act as a touchstone, a visual key that can help us access those memories and moments. A tool of love that can connect us, a daily visual reminder of the intricate lives we create with the ones we love.
As mothers this is something we can give our children, a home filled with visual clues of who we were, who we are and who we continue to be. A human, as well as a mother, with thoughts, loves and hopes that lie with but also beyond our children. Our children will love us for it.
I have inherited the jar (sorry Mum I probably just snuck off with it one day?) and it now sits on my dressing table. A pretty reminder of my Mum, a woman I deeply love and respect.
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