Mom loved tooled leather. This was her bag.
Mom loved tooled leather. This was her bag.
mother’s day is a challenge for me, as my mom has been dead for 12 years. we came home from being at my in-laws for spring break the day before easter in 2001and stopped by my folks house before going home. as soon as we left, my dad took her to the hospital and she had triple bypass two days later – the day was going to have a biopsy, we later found out. when she did have the biopsy, she was diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread to her liver. she died three months later – 3 weeks before 9.11.
having a personal death close to that event made it almost impossible for me to grieve for her. her death was unfair to me, but some of it she brought on herself. meanwhile, here was this unimaginable, horrifying event unfolding – it made my mom’s death seem like something i should just get over. my dad imploded. i still had to parent and then help my dad. i was in a suspended, sleepless state for many, many months and years. less now than then, but i still have my stretches.
time does heal wounds, but mother’s day is still tough. this year was probably my best yet in terms of tear flow. i know it’s important for my girls to be able to celebrate mother’s day. i’m just not that into it, but i’m trying to be better.
regardless, i took the opportunity to use one of my favorite bags of hers as a phone case: i remember it having a short strap at one time but i probably wore it out. i mentioned this purse in another post, and in another, i referenced her love for tooled leather. while we didn’t always have the best relationship, especially from age 13-26, she instilled in me a love of accessories. she was really telling me to love myself. she was a nurse, so she wore a lab coat most days. but when she went to church… watch out! she believed in hooking up an outfit from head to toe, leaving no jewelry, scarf or handbag left behind. the older i get, the more i understand how important it was for her to have that corner of the world for herself. actually, it was three closets, but who’s counting?
fortunately, my oldest had another concert and i was able to enjoy the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Northern Kentucky. what a gorgeous location. it truly helped take my mind off of missing mom so much. peace, and happy mother’s day to all the moms out there. i appreciate you.
my mom has been on my mind a lot lately. i mentioned in a previous post how much her love of accessories has influenced me. she had some amazing bags, i can’t BELIEVE i was not into fashion at the time of her death, and can’t remember what happened to many of her bags. i probably gave them away; i know i gave some to good friends of hers.
she would have really appreciated this purse. i bought it because when i saw it, i was immediately transported to her closet, which held similar purses. she loved tooled leather. she would use a purse until the edges began to unravel. i checked this bag carefully for any signs of wear, and other than slight wear in the strap from where the buckle was obviously buckled for years, i can’t find any.
what i did find were these tickets. while i waited for my daughter to sing in her final concert with bel canto, i decided to take a picture of the purse at the venue. i started looking for the manufacturer – checking pockets, zipping and unzipping zippers, and found these tickets deep in the interior zippered pockets. they’re for the Frozen Niagara at Mammoth Cave National Park. you can see the price of the tour was $1, today the tour costs $10. to add to the mystery, there’s no date on the tickets. so i checked some inflation rates and value of a dollar along with some images of similar purses online to guesstimate the age of the bag, somewhere in the 1940s – 1950s. cool!
so i feel good about owning a bit of beautiful history. seriously, every bit of the bag that is visible is tooled. i love a mystery, so finding the tickets was exciting for me and my middle daughter, upon whose lap the bag is sitting. and i have great memories of Frances Ann. i happily paid $20 for this bag at my favorite goodwill. thank you to whomever enjoyed it long ago and took such good care of it. until today, i’ve enjoyed looking at it hanging on a hook on the door of my closet. it’s a reminder of a beautiful person gone too soon, yet still with me.