Mama has been gone for 15 years, and I still miss her. My sisters and I were going through some of her things that had been put away and forgotten. There was a pocketbook, and as we emptied the contents, I noticed two things in particular — two old handkerchiefs.
Mama never went out of her house without a clean, pretty handkerchief. I don’t recall her ever using it, but she always had one, just in case.
The two I found were in good condition, so I delicately washed, dried and ironed them. The handkerchiefs are of little monetary value, but to me, they’re a keepsake. Mama didn’t have many worldly possessions to leave behind. In her lifetime, she built treasures in Heaven.
The handkerchiefs are representative of an old tradition. As I sat in church that Sunday, I noticed only one lady wearing a red corsage. During fellowship time I whispered to my daughter-in-law, “Women used to wear a red corsage if their mother was alive and a white one if she was deceased.” My daughter-in-law was unaware of such a tradition.
Sadly, I forgot to wear a corsage. If I live to enjoy the next Mothers Day, I will wear a corsage. This tradition needs to be carried on, and it’s up to the older ones to lead by example. My flowers will be red and white combined. Yes, Mama is gone, and that’s the white part. She is also just alive as I am, and that will be the red.
Mama is now living life to the fullest. She no longer gasps for air or has fluid pumped from her lungs. She is in a place where perfect happiness dwells. Happy Mother’s Day Mama and thank you for the handkerchiefs.
Kaye Steadman lives in Chickamauga. She is a storyteller, published writer and author of the book “My Name's Not Verly.” She can be reached at email@example.com or follow her on Facebook.