When my kids were small I carried a big purse. It had in it all the necessities for the little emergencies of little people. I carried wipes, Band-Aids, aspirin, cough syrup, a wash rag, Kleenex, candies, Neosporin, sun tan lotion, a sweater, extra pair of shoes, needle and thread, a bottle of water (before it was the “in thing”), and I can’t remember what else. It was a big purse. We also had several throw blankets and small pillows in the back seat of the car.
When we were going through Mary’s closet sorting out clothes, several items were a toss up as to whether they belonged to Mary or to Tony or some friend who had left it behind. Julie said, “check the pockets. If there’s a Kleenex in them, it’s Mary’s.” Sure enough, there were wadded up Kleenexes in many of them, unused but nonetheless available for a needy nose.
The other thing Mary always, always had in her pocket was a tube of chapstick. She never went anywhere without it. She never bought a pair of pants or a jacket without pockets. In her back pockets she carried a man’s wallet with her id and cards in it and pictures of Cindy, Gabe, and Anna. In the other pocket was her phone, her life line to the people she loved, Her purse was used for those extra things you needed but didn’t have room for in your pockets. I always wondered what her purse would carry when she had kids.
I still have her wallet with all the cards in them. It was in her purse. Haven’t gotten her driver’s license back yet but I have an older one. Her purse is filled with Kleenexes but no chapstick. That was in her front pocket. I don’t know if she was wearing a skirt or pants. I assume pants since she left from work that night.
I didn’t know what to do the day they brought me her purse. I went through her wallet looking for guidance. There was her AAA card, the one she used when her friends would lock their keys in their cars. She would come to the rescue. I found her charge cards, insurance card, other cards. Who do I call? Who needs to know? Do I close accounts down, leave the open? I had no freakin’ idea what I was doing. Neither did anyone else. So I just blew my nose on the Kleenex in her purse. How convenient. How Mary. Taking care of me then and still taking care of me now.