The eyeglass whisperer

One of the toughest moments during the frenetic cleanup of my parents’ condo just after my mother’s death was what to do with her eyeglass collection.

My mother’s many eyeglasses were laid out neatly atop the dresser, where she always kept them. Each pair of glasses had its purpose.

mom eyeglasses

A routine trip to the grocery store required three pairs: sunglasses, a pair for walking and a pair for reading coupons and expiration dates. Whenever I was with her, I was expected to know which pair she needed at any given time. I became her eyeglass whisperer, though to be honest, I never did figure out what all of the pairs were for.

She did try bifocals at one point, but hated them. “I feel like a chicken trying to pick up corn,” Mom complained.

So as I moved around the condo in a whirlwind, using the activity to temporarily blunt the grief, my mom’s eyeglass collection brought me to a halt. She had not worn any of the glasses for weeks, since she had become bedridden. While I was purging the condo of many items, I wasn’t ready to part with her glasses. Instead, I put them each in a case and then into a box, which I mailed back home to Atlanta.

I had some hazy notion of turning them into a sort of tribute piece. The glasses sat in the box in a closet for almost three years, when I finally decided it was time to do something with them. I found an appropriate shadowbox and created a simple display of the glasses my mother used most.

The display is now on my bedroom wall, and I’m pleased with the results.

Have you come up with any unusual memorials for loved ones? I would love to hear about them.



Filed under Memories

5 responses to “The eyeglass whisperer

  1. Very touching story and nice tribute!

  2. What a cool idea! I think I gave my mother’s to the Lion’s Club, but I wouldn’t mind having the keepsake you did.

  3. What a great idea. I’m glad you found just the right thing to suit your needs in memory of your mom.

    I have a couple of reminders around the house. My husband’s father’s suit shirts were made into teddy bears for all his kids. On the foot of the bear are the embroidered words, “Be good, kid.” We all knew that was his “marine’s way” of saying “I love you.”

    My other memento is of my dog, Piezon. I ordered a glass charm to hang on a necklace. Inside the glass is Piezon’s fur. I wore that necklace every single day for about three years after he died. It was hard to bear being without him, so it helped (slightly) to feel like he was still right next to me. These 8 1/2 years later, I don’t wear it every day, but I put it on when I find myself thinking of him a lot more often than usual.

  4. This is such a real story. I had a similar dilemma going through my Mothers recipes, I remembered she loved sour cream raisin pie though us family members were very leery of it and never asked her to make it, after she passed I found the recipe in her handwriting and cried, grieved for her and wondered why we had not given her the pleasure of making this pie for all of us? I made one though it did not turn out. Still I have the recipe as a reminder life is so short

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