Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Faded Brown Leather Change Purse

February 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. “

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

When my mother died I had the daunting task of going through her belongings. She wasn’t
rich, so she didn’t have much. I just wanted to pack everything up and send the box to Goodwill.

My mother and I didn’t see eye to eye. She was an alcoholic and I gave up on her. I didn’t
think her life was worth much in life or in death. I was angry with her after all the years I spent
taking care of her. It was suppose to be the other way around, but never was.

Right before I turned sixteen my father died and my mother in her “alcoholic wisdom”
decided to uproot us and move three thousand miles away from my father’s family. I was angry
with her and decided to run away from home. I didn’t get the chance and we made peace, but
not for long.

Throughout my adulthood my mother drank. She wasn’t a funny drunk, but a mean drunk and
I suffered horribly from her anger. I stopped speaking to her and even made her leave my home.
I had my family to think about. I regretted my decision two years later.
I prayed daily my mother and I would reconcile.

I got the phone call about two years after I ejected my mother out of my life. She was dying.
Since I was her only child my aunt called me. When I got to the hospital, mother was in a coma.
I didn’t get to tell her I was sorry for the things I had done. My mother died not knowing too I
forgave her as well.

I packed her clothes neatly in the box for the thrift store and put her pictures in the box to
bring home. I spotted the faded brown leather clutch purse at the bottom of a junk pile. Fond
memories of my mother flooded my mind; memories before her drinking bouts.

She used to keep the purse inside her dress next to her heart. I always wondered why she did
that. I thought it was because she didn’t want anyone to take her money, but I found out that day
she kept it next to her heart for only one reason. Inside the faded brown leather clutch purse was
a few old coins and a picture of me. Tears fell as I turned the picture over and saw the date. I was
three years old in that picture. My mother did love me! She carried me next to her heart for
thirty-three years until her death. God did answer my prayers, but not in my timing, but His.

I am thankful for the warm memories I have of my mother… some not so great, but we shared
a lifetime of love and sorrow that made us who we became. I love you mom!

Debra Elliot is a Christian wife, mother, grandmother and author. Life Through the Rearview Mirror is her first poetry book published. Debra Elliot writes an online column for christian-books-for-women.com. She is also contributing author in Heavenly Humor for the Cat Lover’s Soul.

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