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.
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.