Our Stuff Is Filled With the Souls of Those Who Touched It: Mourning the Loss of People and Things

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We spend our lives amassing things. From the time we’re born, people bring us “stuff.” Rattles and onesies, teddy bears and tub toys, shoes we can’t even walk with yet and savings bonds for our future. As we grow older, our stuff expands to include books and knick knacks, framed photos and candles, pillows and magazines, cars and tech devices.

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Hearing Their Voice

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I love purses.  I love tote bags.  I don’t own as many as, say, Kim Kardashian.  But I own enough to have a little tinge of guilt every time I purchase a new one.  I don’t collect expensive handbags with designer labels.  Expensive is never what I look for.  I look for something that suits my personality, my need for function and something that can house the 784 items I carry around with me every day.

I bought a new purse yesterday.  My old purse was unstructured and I could never find anything in it – a truly frustrating feature for a Virgo.  It was like a big, black hole.  So while shopping for my new summer handbag, I had one thing in mind:  Organization.  I wanted easy access to everything in my purse.  I wanted to be able to find my keys in two seconds flat.  I wanted my phone to have its own home, and my sunglasses to be in their own safe slot where they wouldn’t be scratched.

While walking down the aisle at Marshall’s, I saw it.  It was like a beacon of light shined right on this cute little yellow bag.  Either that, or the bright, blinding yellow jumped out from behind all of the black and brown purses surrounding it on the hooks. I’d like to think it was God’s spotlight guiding me to my treasure.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  Happy.  Structured.  Large enough to carry everything I own.  Summery.  And it had a S***LOAD of pockets!  Compartments for days!  Ahhhhhh…Nirvana!

The minute I picked the handbag up, I heard this voice say, “That’s a nice purse!”  I looked around, and there was no one in the aisle except for me.  Then I heard the voice say, “Look at all those pockets!”  Then I realized where the voice was coming from.  It was my mom’s voice.  And it made sense to me that she would be giving this her stamp of approval because SHE LOVED POCKETS!  This purse had her name written all over it.  In fact, it’s the sort of thing I’d buy two of; one for me, and one to send to her, just like I had so many times before with shoes and lipstick and sweaters and, yes, purses.  So I slid the straps over my shoulder, walked over to a mirror, and heard my mom say, “Buy it!”  And I did.

I don’t know if it’s just years of hearing my mom bestow approval on things I’ve purchased in the past while we were shopping together, if the voice in my head is now aging into the voice that was once hers, or if my mom was really communicating with me from wherever her spirit is living now.  But I do know that – loud and clear – I heard her speak to me yesterday.  And every time I slip my sunglasses into the side pocket of my cheery little yellow bag, I’ll see her smile right along with me.

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