Thursday, August 12, 2010

What's in the Bag?

What would someone find if they looked in your purse more than 20 years after your death? What if it was just seven years later?

It's the kind of question that I've never thought about. Well, until today when I had the opportunity to look through the purse of my great-aunt who died over 20 years ago. I was helping my mother pack up her house in preparation for moving day tomorrow. There were two purses on the top shelf of her closet, one belonged to my great-aunt, the other to my grandmother-my mother's mother-who died seven years ago.

My mother remarked that she'd never looked in either one. Today seemed like as good a time as any.

I think the most interesting thing about the experience was the items common to both purses. Namely...newspaper clippings... obituaries and wedding announcements. My aunt had quite a collection of pictures. Included in the assortment were, of course, pictures of her many nieces and nephews as well as a collection of shots from her retirement in the late 1960s. My grandmother had a few pictures and clipped obituaries as well. She also had the mass program from my sister's wedding and a postcard I'd sent her from Florida in 1983.

It seems like these days women have a different purse for every outfit. I know for myself, that the obituaries I have clipped are stuffed in the top drawer of my dresser. Every time I use a different purse during the year I find the same few items: lip balm, tissues and a little bit of pocket change.

My apologies to whoever gets to go through my purse after my demise, it won't be nearly as interesting as my experience today.

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