Memories have been running through my mind like an endless reel. So many thoughts, so many happy times spent together with my Mom that both seem like yesterday and also a lifetime ago.
Funny memories are around times when she would call out for my sister, brother or I to bring her her purse. One, two or all three of us would scatter to search for her purse around the house. We’d scream from our varied locations that we couldn’t find it and eventually come to her (like little spaceships docking to the mothership) only to find her purse within arms reach of her! We would moan about how we wasted time looking everywhere and it was right next to her. She would gently laugh and shoo us off.
Other memories surround her telling us that we were not allowed to go through her purse because there was a snake in it. It was obviously a scare tactic because if any of us went through her purse, surely we would remove things that were important when needed. As a parent, I get why she said/did that. Funny enough, we never went through her purse for fear a snake would actually be in it. How simple and naive we were.
I liken my Mom’s purse to Mary Poppins’ (1964) carpet bag where Mary Poppins would magically pull out anything and everything she needed from her seemingly bottomless bag. Of course, my Mom didn’t carry a carpet bag, but her purse had the same magical qualities, or so it seemed from a child’s perspective.
If we were on a road-trip (which was common for our family and usually spur of the moment), my Mom’s purse seemed to contain everything but the kitchen sink. I suppose all kids probably feel this way, especially now when there’s so much more availability of things and more preparation and planning. Like in my post Ability to spin straw into gold, her purse was filled with barakah.
The contents I recall being in her purse included her wallet, my Dad’s wallet, reading glasses, my Dad’s cigarettes and lighter (when he smoked), a matchbook, a meticulously starched, ironed and folded pristine white handkerchief, a small metal pillbox of ilachis (cardamom pods) as breath fresheners, a packet of Wrigley’s spearmint gum that was ONLY reserved for her purse, headache medicine, Dramamine (because I used to get motion sick), a comb, bandaids, an extra dupatta (head covering), a tasbeeh (prayer beads), phone/address book (standard size), a thermometer, a folded paper towel or napkin, a spork, a folded up nylon bag for expansion, coupons (all organized), a pen, a pencil, random snacks (e.g., raisins, dates, etc.) that seemed endless in quantity, travel sized fragrances (from Avon as she was representative) and a MUST have lipstick. I’ll have to write a separate blog on the lipstick because that deserves it’s own topic. In addition to all the contents, her purse was also used for storage for everything and anything we didn’t want to carry but wanted to have, including our small toys, games, knick-knacks.
My Mom didn’t like to carry a large purse, so I would say it was medium sized. However, it never looked like it was brimming with things, yet it seemed to have everything whenever needed. What a lovely reminder of the magic of my Mom and her barakah filled things.
If you have made it to this post / page, I would be most appreciative if you could say a prayer for my beloved mother. Thank you.
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