April 24, 2024

U - Use + YOU


Theme: Grief Work and Healing Journey

I have two entries for U.

First up, Use.

Not only did I use my mom's perfume, but I used other items, too.


The first thing I did was put my mom's high school graduation ring and the ring she left me in her will (a golden ring with a garnet stone in it that belonged to my paternal grandmother, which was gifted to my mom) on a necklace so I could have them with me day and night, everywhere I went, over my heart.


While going through my mom's things, I came across a pair of earrings I had bought her in November 2022. They were a cheap pair from Claire's online. She had wanted cute, small earrings she could start wearing. Before all of the PET scans, MRIs, X-rays, and CT scans, she wore earrings daily, but countless scans forced her to take them out and forget about putting them back in.

She wanted to reacquaint her ears to earrings, so I bought her Leo horoscope earrings. She wore them once before misplacing them. We thought they were in her room somewhere and couldn't find them. We even thought they had fallen on the floor somehow.

Turns out, she had put them in her bathroom...in a macaron-shaped jewelry box where she'd stored all of her earrings. *forehead smack*

I cried.

Then I put them on.

I wore them for weeks until I realized they were starting to turn my ears green. HAHA. So, to keep them with me and to protect them, I put them into an authentic medicine bag gifted to my mom by a Native American who had visited my elementary school when I was a child. My mom had given me this medicine bag many years ago, and I always have it in my purse. In fact, my mom was gifted two. The larger one she kept for herself and cherished deeply. Like me, she always kept it with her. First in her purse, and then in her rollator walker.

I don't want to wear the earrings again and tarnish them further, but they're still with me. During the time I did wear them, though, they helped me to feel close to her.

When I couldn’t wear her Leo earrings anymore, I put in a difficult pair of my mom’s earrings—a heart-shaped pair that I believe she got in either Hawaii or Okinawa. This pair I didn't take off for months.

Heart-sharped earrings.

Keychains and Leather Bracelets:

Next, I took the keychains she used to decorate her rollator walker and put them on my keys and hung them from my rear-view mirror.

“Never drive faster than your guardian angel a fly.”

She bought the turtle keychain at the Grant Seafood Festival.
And the gold heart-shaped whistle was hers, too.
It’s actually half a whistle that used to be a necklace, but she kept it for 20+ years. I actually almost lost this on 4/9/2024. I found it in my parking space at work.

I did the same with two leather bracelets I had bought for my mom at the Brevard Renaissance Fair in January 2022. She wanted more leather bracelets to go with the one she had bought years before at renaissance. That bracelet she wore daily. Up until, again, she had to keep taking it off for tests. She’d say she felt naked with it out but continued to keep it off. So, she ended up not being able to wear her new bracelets all but maybe a couple of times. We did, however, snap them onto her rollator walker. 

Vine design.


When I went through my mom's closet shortly after her passing, I found a black purse that she had used a lot and was in great condition. I swapped out my purse for hers and used it for four months.


I also found her legendary burnt-orange T-shirt with a saying on it that says, "If I don't remember, it didn't happen." I wore it a lot during the first month. 

I even wore a few of her skirts to church and Grief Share meetings. My mom always wore skirts. For as long as I can remember.

Wearing her skirts and T-shirt comforted me. Her clothes hugged me in a way she couldn't.

The only pictures I have of my mom wearing her legendary T-shirt.

My mom and brother look great. My eyes are closed. lol

I kept the jacket she’s wearing, too.


Now...U is for Y-O-U. 

Yes, you!

Here's a secret: I wrote these posts last year during April, a month after my mom had passed away. The only two I hadn't written last April were J and S. Although it was very early on in my grief journey, a lot had helped me during March and April, when my grief was the strongest and my emotions were all over the place.

Not only did the things I wrote about for my A to Z challenge help me, writing these posts for you (and for anyone who may ever need them) also helped me a lot.

Helping others through their grief is something I've heard many people end up doing because once you go through it, you develop a stronger sense of sympathy than you've ever had before. You are kinder, more caring.

Being beneficial to other people can give you a sense of purpose, too. That's what my posts did for me. They gave me a sense of purpose, a way to help others through my own hurt and pain. They also gave me something to do, a distraction. And they were an outlet for that hurt and pain.

I'm grateful for the A to Z challenge, the fact that I got the idea to do this theme, and that I followed through and wrote these posts during April of last year.

And I am grateful for YOU.

Or...U. ;)



B - Beach

C - Church

D - Donating

E - Epistle (Letter from Heaven)

F - Facebook Posts

G - Grief Share

H - Haiku Poetry

I - Imari

J - Job (New Job)

K - Kitchen Time

L - Ladybug Rocks #LadyBugRocksFL

M - Miracle Moments

N - Nature

O - Our Story (Keepsake Journal)

P - Playlist + Photo Collages

Q - Quiet (Reading) Time

R - Removing and Redecorating

S - Sammy the Teddy Bear

T - Tauren Wells "Joy in the Morning"

U - Use + YOU


  1. You’re really kind, and thank you for visiting us. Mummy has given up wearing earrings because she can’t put them in any more. They were pretty, though.
    Locksley at George's GP World

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you for visiting my blog!

  2. It's good to have her things as a tangible reminder of her.

    (I've never understood the things that say "Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly". Why wouldn't they just take a seat in your car?)

    1. That’s very true. Angels can sit in our cars, even full cars. I never thought of that.

  3. I'm glad the A-Z has helped you with your grieving process.

    Ronel visiting for U: My Languishing TBR: U
    Unbridled Harpies