Last Friday my husband, daughter and I attended a gala to celebrate the eight year anniversary of the founding of the dance company my daughter attends. The event was lovely and served as fundraiser for scholarships. There was music, food, drink, and wonderful conversation. It felt so good be socializing in person!
The attire was semi-formal and I managed to put together a nice outfit – black velvet pants and a dressy cranberry blouse. I put on my favorite white enamel necklace and pearl earrings. But something was still missing. I needed a purse to hold my lipstick and phone. Something small and easy to carry with a short strap so it could dangle daintily over my forearm as we chatted, sipped wine and nibbled appetizers. And elegant. I wanted it to be elegant.
None of my purses fit that description, but I nonetheless opened the closet in the hopes that something would strike my fancy. It’s not a big collection and as I suspected, nothing was just right. Then at the very back, behind a basket of my scarves, I spotted this:
White and sparkly, and safely wrapped in a plastic bag, it beckoned me to investigate. It was an evening purse. Poking out of the side was the edge of a note. I could just make out the word: LAURA.
That LAURA was written by my mother! She passed away in 2013 and sometime before then, she must have given me this special sparkly purse – perhaps as part of downsizing her own purse collection. I could tell by the handwriting that she wrote the note before she got sick because the lettering is strong and sure.
Full of loving memories of her, I gently removed the purse from the bag and read the note. This is what it said:
Laura – I bought this in Spain about 1968 to use at a New Year’s Eve party at the Royal Automobile Club of Espagne. For the very formal dinner and dance, I had an emerald green silk long dress made, and wore long, white leather gloves. At midnight, with each stroke of 12, we had to pop a grape into our mouths (pretty dangerous when you think about it!)”
I smiled reading it because it was so like my mother, first to be thoughtful enough to tell me the special story behind the purse, but also, in typical fashion, to include a little life lesson – i.e. don’t put too many grapes in your mouth at once!
I showed the note and purse to Miss A and we both laughed and teared up a bit. “That sounds like her,” she said. Then we both decided my mother would have loved knowing that I was taking her purse to Miss A’s gala!
Just before we headed out for the evening, I unlatched the purse so I could put in my cell phone and lipstick. And guess what my mom left me there? SIXTY dollars! Abigail and I agreed that that was most certainly a special sign that she was with us in spirit and that the purse discovery was meant to be.
Here is the purse at the party with lipstick, phone and that special $60 tucked safely inside:
And, after the gala, what did we do with that little bit of fun money? A few nights later, we ordered sushi- something Miss A, my mom and I used to love to order and eat together. And, in keeping with my mother’s grape advice, we popped only one piece into our mouths at a time.
As we head into our weekends, may this serve as a sparkly reminder not to forget to look for the joy in the little things – like finding a long-forgotten purse — and savoring the sweet memories those little things spark.
Happy Friday, all!
Note: If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my blog using the subscribe button in the footer or sidebar. I post once or twice weekly with book news, inspirational reflections, tips, interviews and more.
14 thoughts on “JOY IN THE LITTLE THINGS: The Tale of a Sparkly Purse”
Oh, my goodness, Laura! What a gift! Your mom was so thoughtful, and how special for you to find that…and at just the right moment! Thank you for sharing!
It was perfect timing… =) That’s for sure. And I love the special connection you have with her as well. I remember she did a few drawings for you way back.
Yes, she certainly did! 😊
What a beautiful, sentimental story to start off my day. Your mom was a doll, and that purse is lovely:)
Oh, thank you. And I agree the purse, and most especially my mom, were lovely!
That is a “total Mattie” story. She was right, a mouth full of grapes can be lethal! Love you, Papacito
Precious, and beautifully told. I will remember this story as I go about my mundane life, missing my parents.
Yes, the missing never goes away… because they were so loved.
Oh, that was beautiful! Makes me wonder what little items (with notes) I might want to pass along…
Yes, oh do! I’m going to be doing that as well. Little surprise notes for the future.
What a find, Laura! And what a lovely story! Not only is the purse beautiful and perfect for your special occasion, but the note inside was the best part of all. A treasure for sure. Moms do the sweetest things, don’t they?!
They sure do.
What a wonderful story about a beautiful purse and how your Mom blessed you through it!!
What a lovely story of a gift that turned up at just the right time. Your mother is smiling for sure. xo