Thursday, August 22, 2013

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 26: Close up

In an earlier post I wrote that I hope I hold possessions lightly. In response Jay from The Depp Effect commented that she had trouble parting with things of sentimental value. I had to admit then that I too hang on to things that have significance for me. Like my sheepskin jacket.

My mum bought it for me for Christmas 1970. We didn't have much money and she was thrilled that she'd managed to be able to afford this for me. I didn't have the heart to say that a sheepskin jacket came nowhere on my 'want' list. And if it had it would have been a pale trendy one like my fashionable better-off cousin's not a dark traditional one that made me look like a dumpling.

February 1971 my mum died following a brain hemorrhage.  

I was wearing my jacket when we went to visit her in hospital when she'd had a second bleed and didn't recognise me except as someone who looked like her cousin. I was wearing it when we had the car crash on the way home. I was told to claim off the driver's insurance to have my coat cleaned of the blood that was smattered over it.

My coat has been hanging in my wardrobe ever since; I probably haven't worn it for 35 years or more - but I can't get rid of it. 

Until now. Today, sitting in the car on the way to deliver 2 Moses baskets to destitute mums, I thought, 'Why am I hanging on to it? When it could keep someone warm on a cold winter's night? Because my mum gave it to me? Because I never wanted it?'

I'll take it to Zac's. I don't know if anyone will want it - they're a right fussy bunch - but if not it can join the 'clothes for cash' pile and be of some use instead of taking up room in my wardrobe.

I will. I will.


Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Aw ... Good for you!!!

I am indeed JUST like that! I have a brand new handbag that Mum bought me a couple of years before she died. It really isn't my style of thing at all, and I have used it very, very seldom, and really only so I could tell her that I had done so.

My Mum died of a brain haemorrhage too. I have so much that reminds me of her, including her wedding and engagement rings (the original ones from when she was married to my Dad, who died decades ago.

So I don't really need anything else, do I? And yet I keep it all. *Sigh*

Liz said...

Yes, it's not as if the item brings the person back or even closer, jay. I join you in sighing!

CherryPie said...

I think you need to part with the coat. Everything you say about it is negative... And we all need positive thoughts to keep us healthy.

I think casting off the coat will be quite liberating :-)

Robyn Lee said...

I'm one of those people who can be quite ruthless with things, then later on find I could have used whatever it was I took to the op shop. I guess it works both ways. I've been given gifts in the past that I would never wear/use and after a few years have discreetly disposed of them. Shallow? Maybe but on the other hand, often I don't have room for things I no longer need or want. You've done the right thing, Liz.

Ole Phat Stu said...

Swastika buttons??? Seriously?

Just how old is that coat and who did you buy it from? Eva Braun?

Liz said...

I just reread the post, cherrypie, and you're right: it is very negative. I was quite surprised to see just how negative in fact.

Sometimes, robyn, there are people I exchange gifts with and really it would be better to, i don't know, buy a goat for a family in Africa. But I can't pluck up the courage to say let's stop.

Traditional sheepskin buttons, stu.

nick said...

What CherryPie said. Very negative associations. There's no way I would hang on to something I didn't like for 35 years, whatever the sentimental overtones. As you say, it's not as if it brings the person back.

Ursula said...

Liz, I feel for you. It's difficult. Oddly, for me it's almost the reverse. Both my parents are still very much alive, and alert, (mother 80, father 76). Can't help feeling that they have started 'tidying up' after themselves. Keep telling them to leave it. My siblings and I will sort it out.And keep what we want to keep and decant what we don't.

It's so odd, isn't it, your story. There is your mum trying to please you yet getting it wrong. Then she dies. Promptly. Breaks my heart, on your behalf, (my very own terror - at three in the morning - is that very fear of a brain haemorrhage, totally irrational). So, did you give the coat away? And if so, how do you feel? Other than wishing you hadn't?

For all it's worth - bear hug in a sheep's skin,

Liz said...

It's still in the wardrobe, nick, but i have had a busy week!

Ursula, Husband's mother started several years before she eventually died sharing out her things amongst her children. Things she considered treasures that now lay unloved in cupboards. (Shake self to get rid of weight of sadness.)

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