My Mother’s Slippers

In November, I think about my mother. She was a driving force in my life until her unexpected death in November 2014. There are still times when I want to pick up the phone and share good news with her or ask for her advice, but I can’t. What I can do is keep a part of her with me – her slippers.

Not the pair she wore, but one of twenty or thirty pairs of the identical slippers that she hoarded. My mother was an atypical hoarder. Everything in her house was always perfectly in place and her kitchen floor was so clean that one could eat off of it. Newspapers and magazines were thrown out once read; finished books, except for ones I wrote, were loaned to friends, or donated; and clothes were stylish but took up no more than a closet.

Her hoarding fetish involved shoes. She loved them. Because she had a hard to fit foot (super narrow and only a six or six and one-half), if she found a pair of shoes to fit, she bought them — in every color. If she found something she loved was going to be discontinued, she stocked up on them. The thing about my mother was that she wore all of those shoes. Each one matched an outfit or a mood and while she kept them carefully boxed on shelves in her closet, she believed in wearing and enjoying them.

After she died, my sister and I relished the memory of her cute outfits and her shoes. I was only saddened by the fact that while we had the same shoe size, our feet were just different enough that the last that fit her didn’t work for me. What did work were her slippers. She had found a pair of step-in flower-patterned slippers that she loved because they were narrow enough to stay on and soft enough not to rub her foot. She wore that particular brand for years and when she discovered they were being discontinued, she bought up every pair she could find. When she passed away, there were twenty plus pairs that had never been worn. I tried one on and they were perfect. Although I didn’t take them all, I brought several pairs home with me. Seven years later, morning or night, I think of my mother as I step into a pair of her slippers. The wonderful thing is that I know she will still be with me for years to come because of the ones I have yet to begin using.

Do you have anything passed down from a parent that reminds you of them regularly or that you have that may give someone continuing memories of you? Tell me about it for a chance to win an e-book of One Taste Too Many, the first in the Sarah Blair series.

24 thoughts on “My Mother’s Slippers”

  1. Lovely memory. I have the 12 setting China my brother sent from Japan in 1958.that was my mother’s. We used it only on holidays. Alas the only daughter that wants is is unmarried and childless.She will get but probably will end up in a second hand shop or landfill. It is very precious to me.

  2. You have no idea how much this touched my heart! And I think our moms must have worn the same slippers. I have lots of my mom’s personal things that I treasure but the satin and lace lingerie cases that she used speak volumes. Her drawers were organized and curated like artwork – not at all like mine – and when I look at the lingerie cases, I can definitely feel her presence.

  3. What a lovely, sweet memory. Not only does it convey a sense of your mother’s unique personality, it is a tangible connection to your mother. You must feel a special ease at the end of the day when you take off your shoes and slip into something comfortable.

    1. Whether I leave the slippers in the middle of the room or tuck them neatly in the closet or under a bench in my bedroom, there is something very comforting when I put them on. And yes, mother was unique. Thanks for stopping by today.

  4. Weinberg Rhonda

    Loved this post! I know your mother would love that you are wearing her slippers.
    I have a top of my mother’s that I did wear after she passed away almost 15 years ago. I no longer wear it, but it is still hanging in my closet. I think of her whenever I look at it.

  5. I have my mother’s night shirt she practically lived in before work from home attire was a thing. The lace collar is torn and there’s a hole near the hem. I also have a commemorative coffee mug she was given when she bowled a 300, and a decades old soup pot she used to make goulash in. I don’t use it for anything other than mom’s goulash.

    1. I bet the goulash is all the more tasty for being made in that soup pot … and that your kids and grandkids now associate it with you. It’s nice to have tangible things to bring back sweet memories.

  6. It’s very symbolic that the thing you wear first in the morning and also last at night belonged to your mother. It’s like getting a bit of love from her as you start your day and later when you fall into bed. She would be so happy. I have several treasures that belonged to my mother who was an excellent cook. My favorite has to be a cookbook with her handwritten notes inside.

    1. I hadn’t fully thought about the symbolic aspect only the comfort. Your point is well made. Those handwritten notes in your mother’s cookbook also are special as they were penned with love and thought. Now, you can make those recipes for the next generations.

  7. My mother and I were not the same size anywhere. My feet are much larger, I’m taller, and enough different in size that none of her clothes fit me. I have so many things of hers – dishes, books, photos, etc. that surround me in my home. For my 50th birthday she passed on to me a ring that had been in the family for many years, saying that she wanted to give it to me on a happy occasion rather than having me inherit it upon her death. Every time I look at my hand I’m reminded of the double gift: the ring itself, and her thoughtful presentation that means that I always remember the receipt of it with joy.
    Carol Hull

    1. The gifting of the ring on a happy occasion shows how thoughtful and sweet she was. Having read your book talking about her, I know what a bond you had. It is funny, I also have dishes and other things in the house that were hers, but because I don’t use them with the same frequency, they don’t stir memories that often.

  8. I love having, using and wearing things that belonged to my mother, especially those things we bought together. I feel enveloped by her love all the time. She was a ray of sunshine to all of us. Thanks for sharing your story. Hugs to you from her and me.

  9. What a lovely connection! My mother used to do ceramics, and I have several pieces that I cherish. When I set her gravy boat on the table, just knowing she held it in her hands and painted it, I feel that connection. Also, as I decorate each Christmas, my favorite thing is the nativity scene she made for me.

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