One of the items on my To Do list is the Merge and Purge! We have 2 full houses that need to fit into one. Some of these items are treasures and some not so much. It’s a good thing rummage season is right around the corner.
The task of merging and purging is overwhelming. I need help. I need a system.
Enter Marie Kondo and her book, the life changing magic of tidying up. There is a new Netflix series, Tidying up with Marie Kondo. Have you read or watched? In the media you’ll find articles about Thrift stores being overwhelmed with donations from people using the KonMari method on their closet.
Now that I had a system, I needed to start small. On small treasures. Not the whole house. I chose to start with things from my mother.
After she passed, I asked my father for her bathrobe. I zipped that bathrobe on her every day I cared for her and it was lovely. A plush red robe. My dad said yes, I brought the robe home and washed it. I couldn’t bring myself to put it on. I brought it back to Dad and we donated it.
The second item I asked for was a blouse I bought for Mom in the past year. It was stylish and I thought I could wear it. I brought it home, washed it, hung it in the closet. I can’t wear it. It’s waiting to be placed in the rummage pile.
What’s going on? I love these items and yet I couldn’t wear them. Then I remembered my mother’s socks.
My mother loved fun socks. The more outlandish the better. She had them in every possible theme.
She started wearing themed socks when she joined the Rotary Bowling League. They would compare socks each week and had fun doing it!
As her health declined, she didn't clothing or jewelry, so I started buying her fun socks. She loved them. I sought out the best quality fun socks I could find. Have you every tried putting cheap socks on someone else, an adult? You need good quality, stretchy socks for that job.
Mom wore socks every day. In the last year or so, she didn't wear sandals or even slippers. She needed to wear a solid shoe or sneaker to help with her walking and balance, therefore she needed socks, so why not make them fun?
When it was my morning to dress mom, I would pick out socks to match the season or her t-shirt or our mood! It was always a happy time to look at the socks, pick out a pair and put them on. We both smiled. It was a little ray of sunshine in our routine.
It's nearly seven months that Mom is gone. We don’t need to pick out fun socks anymore. Around Christmas, I asked Dad if I could have some of her socks and of course he granted my wish.
I went to her dresser and carefully curated a collection of her socks, all of which I bought for her, they are the good quality soft and stretchy kind. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with them but I felt a connection to them.
It took awhile, but I decided I would wear them. It felt weird, so I decided I would hide them under boots so only I knew there were hearts or shamrocks on my socks. As time wears on I let them peek out.
I still find myself looking at socks when I am out shopping. Recently, this happened while I was browsing in Talbots. I found myself looking at the socks and thinking of Mom. I reminded myself that she didn’t need new socks. But I could buy them for me. I too deserved good quality, stretchy socks. Mom would want me to have them.
Why can I wear my mother’s socks but not her robe or her blouse?
Let’s check in with Marie Kondo. Her advice is simple: Hold each item, use your intuition to feel the energy of the item then decide if it sparks joy. If it sparks joy keep it, if not let it go!
The robe reminds me of Mom being sick, helping her in the bathroom, etc. No joy.
The blouse reminds me of Mom sitting in a wheelchair. No joy.
Can socks Spark Joy?
Yes, they can! All of the socks spark joy for me. They embody Mom’s fun loving spirit, her joie de vivre, her smile, her laughter! Joy!
I am reminded of happier times when I select a pair and put them on. It feels like Mom is with me.
Now, I proudly wear my mother's socks, it is a simple way to keep her memory alive and her spirit close at hand or in this case, close at foot.
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of warm memories. Debbie
Debbie is a wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend to many. She served as a part-time caregiver and full-time advocate for her mother, Barbara, who passed away from Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Dementia in July 2018. Her mission is to help caregivers not only survive but thrive during their caregiving journey!