Part of each weekend clean has been continuing to pare down my belongings (I think it's great that these days, on the blogosphere at least, it's called "editing" or "curating" -- it allows every Plain Jane to become a little bit fabulous, don't you think?). I even started putting clothes that I really like in the give/sell/donate pile, simply because I don't need so much!
Well, I thought I was doing a good job on cleaning (or "exfoliating," as Jess calls it; during the summer I started her Summer Slim Down and decided to take it into autumn). But then my brother and I started going through my mom's stuff last month. I sorted clothes and toiletries; he did shoes and some paperwork. And I ended up bringing two armfuls of clothes home for myself!
I picked out one or two of her old school blouses, a couple sweaters, and -- ironically -- some pieces I'd given to her back in the day. The gems, though, are her beautiful, hand-sewn traditional ao dai. Some of them are from when she was still single, so they're precious as my-mom-before-she-became-my-mom mementos. The fabrics are something else, too. Lovely silks and brocades. I've always loved the one with multi-color flowers on blue [middle], which I never saw my mom wear, and the teal brocade with spider mums [second from bottom], which is such a unique color and thick and rich and great for winter. The ao dai take up a lot of closet real estate, and I have to squeeze into some of them a bit, but I'm sure they can be altered. It feels nice to have her clothes so seamlessly integrated among my own.
Living simply often means cutting out the sentimentality that makes us keep what we don't need, but I'm allowing myself to hang on. Perhaps, as time passes, I won't feel the need to keep them any longer. And at that time, it'll be okay to let go. Besides, I'm sure I can find something else in my closet to let go... like my old high school prom dress!