My Mother’s Ashes

I just came across an ashtray I made in school at Christmastime for my mother. I remember the making of it so well. The shape of it, the thing of it was all for her. She was an aloof, beautiful, untouchable woman. She had Admirers, she had furs and massages and ointments and so many occasions for her display. She read far into the night and smoked.

My gift to her was a small heart-shaped ashtray with a rose in the center. On the back it is signed, “PAM 1952” the art teacher would have had us do that. I remember giving it to her with some trepidation. Would she like it? Would she put it down without noticing? Would I find it in a drawer years later?

But those are my adult thoughts. At the time I just wanted her to like it and love me. Notice me, smile at me. That’s the part I don’t remember now. Did she smile? I don’t know. But she kept it by her bedside until she died in 1993. Her cigarette ashes are part of it now – oh yes, I have it now. I put it in a drawer, and found it when looking for something else. I think it’s time for the love to come out. I placed it with other endowed objects where it has a life of inclusion. Something I am just beginning to live with myself.

10 thoughts on “My Mother’s Ashes

  1. Thanks, Pam–that certainly brings back memories for me, as well (although i thought you were heading towards scattering her ashes…which i also remember well).

    Merry Christmas–and enjoy the memories that this time of year always brings–reflections of the past, and all. Say hi to Paula and the girls, as well as Ben and Becky.


  2. Dear Pam,
    I’m sending along warm and affectionate thoughts and
    hugs to you. May 2012 be an excellent year, in every
    way, for you and for those you love.
    Love, Lisa

  3. Very moving for me as you can imagine. You and I continue to live parallel lives. In digging through boxes for my new (FINALLY) book shelves, I came across an “ashtray” that always sat by my mother’s chaise. I realized that it is a very unique tastevin from France. Hangs around sommelier’s neck. I sent it to Dawn. Who knew?? Love the ashtray!

  4. My mom is dying now and there are so many memories and words and feelings that we have had time to say. That is the only thing cancer has given us, time and yet less time.

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