This little book has been far more valuable to me than I ever would have guessed on the day that I purchased it.
I had been on a lunch date with my husband, and then we decided to wander in the local bookstore across the street from his office. I wandered upstairs to the second level, and as I was waiting on my daughter (one of her many bathroom visits) I noticed this little book staring at me.
I picked it up and realized that I needed to purchase it. I had never heard of this title before, let alone the author’s name. But, something about the picture lured me to buy it. I was hesitant at first, but soon I realized that it would become a treasure to my soul.
I started to read the book, and I was finished within a week. There wasn’t anything spectacular about the novel per say; there were no vampires or children killing each other in the wilderness to satisfy Panem. It may or may not ever be a best seller, but it is invaluable to me for many reasons.
You see, the first time I read the book, I was caught up in the “idea” of vintage. I liked that the setting was in North Carolina; I enjoyed the main character’s role of being an “almost-college-graduate” who is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to attain in her world. But, the biggest thing that I overlooked in the first reading was why the story took place: the main character, Dora, has a beloved grandma named Mimi, who suffers a stroke.
Exactly one week after I finished reading this novel for the first time, my own dear mother had a stroke. This type of stroke was the same type that Mimi had in the novel. But, my mother’s stroke was almost instantly fatal. As I realized this unusual similarity between the novel and my own life, I realized that this book was more than just reading for recreation.
This book has become a source of revelation, or rather, a source of healing for my spirit. Since it is never expected for a loved one to pass away so suddenly, the shock is completely incomprehensible, unexplainable, and shattering to the core. Just as Dora found out about her grandma’s stroke and had to endure the inevitable choice to let her grandma go, I had to do the same with my own mother.
In the month that my mom’s life has ended, I have picked up this book on an almost daily basis, and read a chapter or two to help my soul. There are no magical words or feelings that actually “heal” my emotional wounds, but just knowing that this was the final book I read before my mom passed has helped me to connect with that exact moment of her final days with me.
I do not believe in coincidence, so this book was definitely positioned to be in the right place at the right time. God knew that I would be eating lunch with my husband on that particular day, and that we would be wandering through the bookstore, too. He knew that I would be dealing with my daughter’s seemingly incessant need to relieve herself in a public restroom, and that this book would be strategically located right next to the restroom.
Yes, vintage is in my blood. I love all things that are old fashioned, express beauty, and are girly. I love that this book is about vintage clothes in a boutique shop in North Carolina, which was my mom’s birthplace. I love that this book was about enduring love between a grandma and her only granddaughter, whom she raised.
My mom would be proud that I am embracing the beauty of vintage. Nostalgia helps me to retain what I have experienced, and vintage is a classic reminder to continually embrace the beloved things that have made me who I am today. Thank you, mom, for installing this love of old fashioned style and grace in me. I will always love you.