Along for the ride

by cheri sabraw



Today in San Gimignano, an old woman dressed in blue caught my eye. Her nylon stockings, pumps, and oversized purse all stylized her in an elegant fashion as she rested before heading down the tile street.

That such a woman and I would intersect at such an opportune photographic moment is not surprising, not today.

My mother at age 78 was with us the last time we traveled to Italy seven or so years ago. She couldn’t walk by herself or hear but boy could she smile.

On the plane last night with my compression stockings pressing in around my calves like circular wrenches (my mother wore such stockings all the time for her lymphedema) and with a gentleman sitting diagonal to me wearing a cochlear implant (my mother lost her hearing during a serious bought of meningitis and wore a cochlear implant), I had a  strong sense my mother was, once again, with us on our way to Florence and the Tuscan countryside.

Then again this morning when a Lufthansa flight attendant offered me my choice of jam, I reached blindly into the basket and my fingers emerged with apricot, mom’s favorite.

Are these coincidences?

Not really.

I now question my spur-of-the-moment decision to include some of my mother’s ashes in a small vile that sits tucked in a corner of my purse.

Should I have declared her at the security checkpoint?

She is here with us. Now, I must decide where to sprinkle her.


About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
This entry was posted in Life, Parenting, People and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Along for the ride

  1. Brighid says:

    Wonderful that you got on with your mother so well.
    I would ask the lady in blue where the best place for the ashes would be, sometimes we get the most interesting answers by asking the elders. Just a thought.

    • Cheri says:

      Terrific idea, Brighid. We are headed to a spot where we stayed in 1999. I don’t know if you can find an entry among my many entries, but I recall the story of the theft of our papers in Florence and subsequent comedy of errors in trying to report the crime to non-speaking carabinieri in Siena. We were on our way to Montefollonico, a very small town which lies in the shadow of Piensa. I’m thinking of scattering some of mom’s ashes there.

  2. shoreacres says:

    Both photographs are splendid, although I do prefer the second. I love the intimacy of your mother-in-a-purse, and of course you shouldn’t have declared her. I rather like the sense of the two of you pulling a fast one on officialdom.

    As for the where? You’ll know. There’s no question about that. In the meantime, here’s a little tribute to your ladies up there.

  3. Christopher says:

    Those two photos show so much “soul” that they remind me sadly of how much the Pacific coast of North America (and particularly the northern Pacific coast), has well-nigh no architectural links to the past.

    So please, do display more of these wonderful pictures on your next posting. They’ll warm the dessicated cockles of my heart…………

  4. Muni says:

    Molto bella.

  5. Cyberquill says:

    Is it vile to carry one’s viol in a vial?

  6. I know my friend has enjoyed her ride in your purse and would want to be where she had had such a lovely time in the past.

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