So I decided it was time to clean out my closet. This in and of itself is hardly post-worthy. It was a matter of necessity – I couldn’t walk inside. I started with the five drawers that are in there – not that this made the path any clearer, rather it was a manageable place from which all other organization could start. I am nothing if not optimistic.
My top drawer is for underwear. My own unsubstantiated belief is that most people put their underwear in the first drawer. Call me crazy, but assuming one has a reasonable level of hygiene, clean underwear is the kind of staple one relies upon regularly, ergo its premier location. The point is – I go into that drawer a lot. I know what’s in there – despite the lack of symmetry and color coded rows. There was a lot to discard – when articles of clothing have lost so much elasticity that they become caricatures of themselves, they need to go. I will also cop to keeping some jewelry in there (which I will now move if you’re thinking of breaking into my house). The point which bears repeating – I don’t expect breathless moments that make no sense to present themselves as a result of scrutinizing the contents of my underwear drawer.
To abbreviate this little tale – once the contents were emptied, two things remained that I swear to you I had never seen before. A sealed envelope from the funeral home that handled the arrangements for my mom and the eulogy I had written. The words I wrote for my dad were buried with him; I didn’t really want anyone to have those words but him. I had chosen to keep my mom’s – not sure why. What I did know was that over the years, I had misplaced it, and had torn apart my ‘spaces’ looking for it. Could I have put it in the drawer and just never seen it? Possibly – but the words are written in purple ink – they show up against a white backdrop and would be just about impossible not to see. In a silence that engulfed my head like a wave, I read it. I remembered every detail of those days. In the sealed envelope? My mother’s wedding ring and the little gold earrings she wore daily. Mommy’s wedding ring. My sister has dad’s, I had mom’s. Why did I not see this before? That I would have it in my possession and not have held it? If I close my eyes, I can see it on her hand. I can almost feel her skin. Why did I find this now?
I have no doubt that there are many logical explanations for this, yet I can counter each one of them with a strong conviction that I have been to the bottom of my underwear drawer many many times before, and these things were not there. Lori reminds me that there are some things that just can’t be explained, and I believe that to be true. Is this one of those events? Perhaps. It begs questions like why now? What’s the message? Am I missing something that I should be seeing in these moments of mine? Is it just the universe’s way of reminding me that there is no talisman that one must hold that is more powerful than love? Maybe it was just mom giving me a ‘atta girl’ for finally cleaning out my closet.
“Love is the vital essence that pervades and permeates, from the center to the circumference, the graduating circles of all thought and action. Love is the talisman of human heal and woe — the open sesame to every soul.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Her wedding ring is now on a chain on which I have a charm from my sister. I hold them both in my hand until they’re so warmed that their essence travels through my skin, traveling to a space in my heart that is kept for those I miss – guarded and protected by walls I have tried to make impregnable. There is no surprise that my mom would find the one entrance – she was always persistent.
As the sky reluctantly lightens and the air holds this peculiar pre-snow quiet that forces you to listen, two birds alight on a leafless branch. They are not going to break the spell with chatter and idle conversation. We hold our respective places until I’m too cold to stay outside and the Sirs are no longer inclined to patiently wait for me to come inside. I whisper “Hi” and “Thank you”. I wonder about all I don’t understand and under my breath I add “Please”. Please let there be so much that defies explanation; let me graced with so much time that I can continue to be amazed.
47 thoughts on “Amulets, Talismans And Charms, Oh My”
i believe they may have appeared there for you now, as you were now fully ready to see and receive them. as happens with all gifts given to us by the universe. beautiful post, mimi.
Hi Beth and thank you. Maybe you’re right – that I wasn’t ready to see them until now. It all just leaves me awed..
yes, as it should.
I love your writing, very touching and I really believe in those kind of inexplicable miracles that happen sometimes, specially with mom’s memories, definitely it was a special event just for you from someone who loved you the most.
Thank you for your comments Eugene – they touched me deeply. It was an inexplicable event – a miracle perhaps. And I love that it came to me on a day like any other..
A wonderful post Mimi.
Thank you Bill – it’s been percolating since Thursday..
Wonderful Mimi. Touching.
(And still smiling that you linked “underwear” to Wiki. There could be multiple interpretations of “underwear” :)).
I did? How did I do that? Ha – made myself laugh and didn’t know how…
This is absolutely beautiful Mimi. As usual you manage to find the perfect words to bring your feelings sharply into focus. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us!
Aw thanks Jill…xoxo
This is your Christmas gift from you Mom.
Maybe so Kate…a belated Chanukah gift, but a holiday blessing regardless..
I’m so glad it the envelope showed up, Mimi. Fascinating how these things appear when we least expect them and maybe when we most need them. I suspect there are many messages here, but most importantly, as you say, that love is talisman. Beautiful post, my friend.
I appreciate it Cathy – thank you…And I am treasuring it..
Started out laughing because I can “clearly” see the top drawer. Not surprisingly, it looks like mine. Ended up in tears. Whatever gives one comfort can be believed to be true. No argument from me. You know how I feel about that too. Who else would send me yellow butterflies in the spring and has begun to send them to brighten the dark and dismal days of early winter. But, most beautiful of all is that while I can clearly hear Dee say that “atta girl”, my cup runneth over that you can hear her now, too. A heart full of love – all there is kiddo. All there is.
PS I’m glad you cleared up the issue of underwear organization. Was never sure I got it right until today 🙂 Have to go pack, think I’ll hit that drawer first.
Laughing…I lay no claim to proper underwear organization Jo – just threw out a lot of stuff that should have been discarded a long time ago…And I know how you feel about these things, those butterflies that come to visit you at serendipitous times. Pack well honey…all there is..xoxo, m
It’s magic. I always credit such things to elves or pixies–a little disbelievingly; a lot believingly–such things happen to me, too. Those things weren’t there before. I believe that.
It IS so important that you should find them NOW…I wish you well, figuring out the message. It is a huge call from the other side to you.
Keep in mind, MiMi, I am the daughter of a theoretical physicist, so I have a huge basis in the linear–but like Einstein himself ultimately (mayhap with relief) concluded–there are greater forces at work.
BTWs…love that Bernadette. I am listening as I type. I really liked her in the Gene Wilder pair up flicks–and think Drew Barrymore has a bit of her quirky look.
Happy Sunday, Good karma Girl. 🙂
Bernadette hits it out of the park doesn’t she? I didn’t know your dad was a theoretical physicist..better to adopt Einstein’s recommendation to treat all things as miracles I guess. Pixies or elves, unknown forces that I have yet to meet – whatever the genesis, we share the same wonder Karen..and wonder I do.
She was SO into orderly drawers. You were definitely channeling her, and she was giving you a thumbs up.
Was that it??
And btw, ‘The Elder’? Laughing..
Um…right…three and half years is all – remember Sensai?
I read this after first reading your post This Is The Only Moment and David Kanigan’s Jason Silva post. All three individually resonated with me. All three together have my head spinning. So much to think about and absorb. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and feelings.
Thank YOU for reading and commenting…I’m glad that these posts all held something personal for you.
what a wonderful and amazing find! can’t imagine it not being there before, but who’s to say. Point is, you have it now. Yay! Thanks for sharing. And love the “atta girl” on the closet clean.
Laughing – she really, really loved order in one’s closet and drawers..
I love your post. No surprise there. I nearly always do.
I believe that the power of love can manifest itself in ways we call “magic”–simply for lack of a better name due to not understanding all that love entails.
Your words were wonderful as usual, and the song, it brought tears to my eyes. For one who has felt alone, it is wonderful. For one who has felt not alone, it was a wonderful reminder that those who have different views and beliefs are not alone either.
Thank you for yet another powerful post, dear Mimi.
Oh Russ, your words touch my heart. I am a lover of Sondheim’s work, and when I heard this song I swear to you I had to hold my hand against my chest because I could feel my heart hurting from its purity, its promise, its reminder. It was visceral – and I’m very appreciative that you found it powerful too. mimi
Serendipity works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it honey? I don’t know why you made this discovery when (and where) you did, though I must confess I did have a passing thought that it was interesting that this intimate find was made in your ‘intimates’…. 🙂 I believe our loved ones are always nearby, and I think sometimes they just feel like we need a little reminder. I’m glad that you and your mom were able to reconnect in this way, and that we were blessed enough to share this moment with you….xoxoxo
This is just…beautiful. 🙂
🙂 Thank you..
Oh my Mimi, I have tears gently rolling down my cheeks. It seems to me that this is a simple sign that our loved ones are never fully gone from our hearts. You found your confirmation many times over in this story alone. Big heartfelt hugs to you as always. xo
Thank you thank you thank you….xox
This was a great post on the meaning of loved ones and the trinkets they have left behind for us. By that I mean that, although our times with them and the memories we have are the most important, it is amazing how some small item may bring back for us those memories and our feelings for that person. I am glad for you that you had this unexpected find.
(PS. I too have hidden pieces and cannot fathom WHY I have put things where I have. If I ever go before I have a good clean up, my children will be astounded at the hidden treasures they will unearth – that is, if they ever find them all).
My mom had told my sister and I that she had hidden a large amount of money in her house – and when she died, and we went to clear out her house, we scoured the house for her hiding places. We never found the money – perhaps the new owners were able to locate the cache…
AH. this made me laugh. I will make it my aim to make sure I find all my hidden treasures. 🙂
PS. Did you look in all the books?
(I hide things in books).
Oh Elizabeth, me too!! And I haven’t checked any books lately – that will be a treasure hunt for sure!
I am catching up today and finally read this post…I absolutely love when things like this happen. I also wonder what the meaning is. Unfortunately we can only speculate but nonetheless it warms our hearts and heightens our spirits in some very special way. It was surely a message of love. xo Fran
I too am choosing to speculate that this was a message of love too..xox, m
“let me graced” (be)
I liked this whole piece. Your alacrity to tell is amazing; your sagacious acumen to tell — the same.