My mom died 25 years ago this Thursday–that’s what this outfit is about. Some years, the anniversary comes and goes with little or no vibration but some years it’s an emotional earthquake. It was pretty strong this month and I realized it had been 25 years–that means I’ve now lived more of my life without her than I did with her. Weird. How can that be? There’s this feeling when someone you love dies that you’ll never be able to go on, but clearly we do.
I decided to mark this anniversary with an outfit in her memory. I had a few different ideas, but the image that sticks with me from when I was about four or five is a yellow shirtdress with one single design on it (as opposed to a repeating pattern), and it was something floral, or maybe it was a giant paisley. I remember her wearing it, and I can see it hanging in her closet with a similar one in blue. I think there’s a picture somewhere of her wearing it and drinking coffee at church during the fellowship hour.
I found this dress at a vintage store in the Haight on Sunday. I thought yeah, this is definitely the right style, but I want it in yellow. But wait a minute, green is my favorite color, so maybe that works for this sartorial memorial/expression of my feelings. And what is this print? The handwritten tag says “pussy willow.” Oh that’s cool she loved those things! That’s actually the only flower arrangement I remember seeing in our house. And it also just looks like a tree or something, which is a solid symbol. OH MY GOD IT LOOKS LIKE THE COVER OF THE GIVING TREE!!! That’s really cool. We loved that story.
King and Daisy were there, and Daisy thought I should buy it because it’s so pretty. Daisy is Daisy Luisa, named after my mom, and they share the same beautiful blue eyes, so every now and then I see Mom in Daisy, which makes me feel sad and happy at the same time. Actually, way more happy and amazed than sad, but the sadness is sharp and deep, and feels like nothing else.
Photo by King, 3/13/17.