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Amanda Lamb: She wore it well

Posted October 7, 2012

One thing my mother will always be remembered for is her impeccable style. She was one of those women who was always, without exception, "put together." She was a lover of clothing, shoes, purses and costume jewelry. To her, the world was a stage and every day was opening night.

So, when I cleaned out her house in order to sell it several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to put aside items for myself and my daughters, things to help us remember her on a daily basis. Unfortunately, we were different sizes, so most of her clothing went to very worthy charities aimed at helping low-income women get back into the workforce. But we were still able to glean shoes, purses, scarves, costume jewelry, and other accessories that might be unremarkable to some, but to me, they are important daily reminders of my mother's vibrant style. Amanda Lamb remembers her mother

As we were walking into a meeting at school the other night, my youngest commented on how she liked my boots. I told her they were her grandmother's. A short time later, I turned around and noticed she was crying.

While my younger daughter dresses up in her grandmother's jewelry and scarves and my older daughter puts her grandmother's keepsakes in a drawer for another day, I try to wear something of my mother's each and every day. At first is was unconscious. Now, it is deliberate.

"What's wrong, Sweetie?" I asked my daughter.

"I miss Maddie so much," she said in between sobs.

"I do too," I said pulling her in for a bear hug. "But somehow wearing things that remind me of her help me get through the day."

And it does. So, if you notice me wearing something new these days, just chalk it up to my fashion angel ...

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.

7 Comments

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  • teachesesci Oct 8, 1:47 p.m.

    The one special thing I wanted from my late grandmother was her class ring from college. It was not until after my grandfather passed away that I discovered the ring he wore as his wedding ring was her class ring. They were married during the depression and could not afford a wedding band for him. Later, she offered to buy him one and he refused. It is a dear reminder of two people who taught me what being married was all about.

  • mdwrfw Oct 8, 1:40 p.m.

    That is a lovely and fun way to remember your mother. When my mother died after a 10 year struggle with Alzheimer's I didn't inherit a lot of fine jewelry , but I did inherit her large collection of Vera Neumann scarves. They were so in style in the 60's and 70's and I always remember my mom with her jaunty, bright scarves. So at age 60 I started wearing them all the time and I have received so many compliments and it gives me the opportunity to share about my precious mother. My daughter has Mom's collection of beaded necklaces and we enjoy honoring her this way.
    I love moppie's idea of making her Daddy's shirts into quilts and the teddy bears made out of shirts!

  • moppie Oct 8, 11:19 a.m.

    Since the passing of my parents, I too tend to wear something of theirs every day. It keeps me connected, especially since I was 32 when my Mama passed and 34 when my Daddy passed. My Daddy always wore loud, tacky Hawaiian shirts. My kids called them "Kip shirts", and always loved the colorful patterns and designs. I'm now in the process of taking all the "Kip shirts" and making them into quilts for my kids. They can keep the wonderful memories of their Grandpa wrapped around them :)

  • jennifer23 Oct 8, 11:01 a.m.

    When my father passed away, my mother asked my 2 brothers and me to pick out one of his shirts that held special meaning for us- she also had all the grandchildren do the same. She then had a friend to make memory teddy bears from the shirts. What a wonderful gift of love! I also treasure my daddy's handkerchiefs. I have one with me wherever I go.

  • storchheim Oct 8, 10:26 a.m.

    I had a dear widowed friend, who was usually very practical, but she didn't want to give away her late husband's clothes. I could tell she felt silly about it. I reminded her it was her house, her husband, her life, and she never, ever had to get rid of the things if she didn't want to. I was so happy when I realized I'd been able to give her some small comfort with those words, because she never gave the things away and never fretted about it again.

    This week her relatives are cleaning her house out. I would not have believed that even a morning cup of coffee tastes so different when someone who loved you is gone.

  • Killian Oct 8, 9:28 a.m.

    When my father died, my mother allowed the 5 grandkids to go through his wardrobe before she donated his clothing. I wasn't sure they'd take much, but they did pick out a few things.

    Of course, it was rather amusing to see my father's 3XLT sweatshirt and flannel pants on my daughter, who wears a junior's size 5. But hey, if Pop-Pop's stuff makes her feel better, than I'm all for it.

  • lec02572 Oct 8, 8:46 a.m.

    As adults sometime we forget that our children grieve also. Their hurt is at least as much as ours. It is obvious that your mother was well loved as you will be by the lover that you are giving to your children.