Mother’s Day. Another year has passed, and I am still just as unsure how to feel as I was the first. I lost my mum four years ago. Disclaimer: my mum and I had an amazing relationship, and she was pretty much perfect. I recognise this is not the case for a lot of people, and I am sending all the love in the world to those who struggle with Mother’s Day, for whatever reason.
It is always a strange day, and the build up a painful reminder, ‘gifts any mum will love’, ‘gift an experience this Mother’s Day’ clog my inbox. In the supermarkets the stacks of cards haunt the aisles. I try my best to crack a joke and pretend I’m not bothered and definitely will not spend the day in bed crying between Meg Ryan movies. This year had me thinking a little differently though, reflecting on the things she left me.
My mum left me lots of things. Handwritten cookbooks, dark purple blankets, butterfly embroidered bedding, a strong sense of justice, so, so many books, a love of Taylor Swift, dark Chanel lipsticks (the first of which I bought her for 2013 Mother’s Day). I have stolen several of her items of clothes over the years, my favourite a sky-blue fleece bought in Australia in the 1990s, and a dark blue zip up jacket which my sister has now adopted as her own.
I have always been a sentimentalist- attaching feeling and memories to objects. It is both a blessing and a curse, keeping things I do not need in case I change my mind, but simultaneously having a plethora of items which may be cool and trendy once more.
But perhaps rather than favouring trends and minimalism, we should turn our attention to the past. Maybe by reclaiming the things we have, treasuring them and valuing them. Clothing does and should have emotional value, it is personal and captures the essence of the person wearing it, and a moment in their life. School uniform, university clubbing clothes, first office outfit, maternity clothes. Each signifies a phase in life which we can’t return to. A unique window into a different time.
In a society which praises minimalism and throwing away, we should hold space for the things we already have, not simply decreeing them last season or ‘cheugy’. Perhaps there is value in treasuring the old rather than the new. Clothing is personal and holds a piece of the person who wears it. Moments of our lives live and breathe, captured in items we might not deem so cool anymore.
If my lovely mum had thrown out these things from her youth I would have so much less to hold on to. Her life continues through these clothes, these items, and in turn continues through me.
Words: Tilly Worth
Image credit: Emilie Wood