My Late Mother is in My Closet

An entry from our travel journal. #AmsterdamDiaries, September 2017.

TRAVEL EPIPHANY, WHILE VINTAGE SHOPPING. Whenever I enter a vintage shop, the images that flood my mind are of Wiel’s mother, Jos, and mine- Concepcion, in their youth. We’ve seen their pics from the 50s & 60s, respectively. How simply fashionable they looked in their Sunday’s best dresses!

I often thought: What kind of young women were they then? What were their challenges and sufferings? What was the dominant theme in their lives, happy or sad?

There I’d be, nursing a regret each time I enter a vintage shop. Why didn’t I ask my mother, woman-to-woman, how life treated her when she was young?

To the Millennials in our family and circles: You guys are lucky, you were born (and raised) to be a questioning generation!

Before her cancer and subsequent death, I only caught snippets of stories from her past that I’ve sewn together to form a story. As children, we were raised not to ask questions. That is why we raised our own kids to have a voice at the dinner table.

My mother had nice dresses, too, why didn’t I keep them? Now, I’m looking for vintage fashion worn by women I don’t even know!

I am a fan of vintage fashion. However, I go to these shops not only for the clothes but for that precious time to be with my mother.


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