Mom’s buttons

I have a shirt that belonged to my mother, carefully saved on a high shelf in a plastic bag. I’d meant to use it as part of a memory quilt—turn the shirt into squares and add them to a patchwork—but when I finally opened the bag, the smell of her still lingered on that simple everyday shirt she’d worn so often, and I couldn’t bear the thought of cutting it. It still sits on a high shelf, wrapped tightly in its plastic bag, and I know if I don’t open it, eventually the smell of her will fade, but I tell myself she is still there, tucked away, just down the hall, at least a little while longer…

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