When smoke gets in your eyes

Mom’s Lighter

The lighter is a small thing and yet so incredibly intricate and beautiful. My mother was given the lighter by my father on a date of significance known only to them.  It was wrought of various metals and engraved with elaborate scrollwork which to my young eyes formed a fanciful storybook forest.  The lighter had another enchanting attribute.  It was musical.  Sometimes, when I was sad, she’d hand it to me and I’d wind it, cautiously, so as not to break it.  That’s when I’d hear the delicate and haunting notes of “Smoke gets in your eyes” release from their tiny cage.

Mom passed when I was thirteen and the lighter went to my father who kept it safe until his passing at which time it came to rest with me.  The lighter, of course, is a tangible reminder that sparks an array of intangible memories.  Mom, the firecracker, all five-foot-two of her wildly dancing around the living room taunting me to put my book down and join her.  I can hear her telling stories with the ladies sitting in their lawn chairs in the courtyard as I lay on a tree branch overhead.  I can see her capturing every detail of a face in a charcoal sketch on a crisp white page as I hover over her shoulder.  I can feel her pride as she slips a blue bow in my hair just before she sends her “Alice” off to “Wonderland” on a grand grade-school stage.

The lighter is past all practical use.  The flame no longer burns.  The music no longer plays.  Still, all these memories and more ignite and rise to life from this tiny touchstone as it rests in my palm.  Yes, and when I hold it, I can still hear it’s song speaking to my heart all these many years later and smoke gets in my eyes.

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37 Responses to When smoke gets in your eyes

  1. babso2you says:

    Lovely post! Thank you for the like on my weekly photo challenge photos! Come back and visit again soon!

  2. Beautiful blog post x

  3. ladyress says:

    Beautifully written.

  4. seesugar says:

    What a poignant and beautiful post about your memories of your mom. Loved it.

  5. movingforward88 says:

    Beautiful post – I love how the sentiment doesn’t overpower the beauty of the memories you share. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Fantelius says:

    Lovely story expressed lovingly.

  7. bebs1 says:

    There is so much love in your storytelling. The lighter is so beautiful, am sure your Dad handpicked it especially for your Mom, truly fitting the woman that she loved. Your title resonates with me, one of my Dad’s favorite song was Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. You are lucky that you not only have the precious memories that goes with a so much loved item.

  8. poppytump says:

    A very touching story you’ve told there. Good memoreis to hold on to ..as well as that little filigree patterened lighter !

  9. emmalmoore says:

    Memories are wonderful to behold. Beautifully done. Thanks for visiting Life’s Little Surprises. Blessings.

  10. ayoliag says:

    Sorry for your loss but may you always have wonderful memories of your family and that lighter. 🙂

  11. That’s the beauty of this relationship….we can feel it even when our mom is not there….. every time i trip, i fall, i remember my mom, that’s the first word that comes to mind…its…Ah,Mummy!! She is one person in our entire life who is never forgotten…..till the day we die….God Bless your mothers soul….and remember every time you think of her she is blessing you right from heaven….

  12. Wonderful post. Went straight to my heart.

  13. Amanda Mac says:

    The intricate work on the lighter looks like it was inspired by the acanthus leaf. This was a popular motif ( still is) and stems ( pardon the pun) from the Renaissance Baroque era. The style of painting that I do was also inspired by the wonderful acanthus leaf. Thanks for posting. This is a lovely story you have told here.

  14. jackiebelle says:

    This is such a touching post. I feel that you have shared your mom with me. She sounds magical and intricate like her lighter.

  15. A very beautiful story, and lighter. I guess you can change things in it (don’t know the words in english) and make it work again. I did that with a very old one that didn’t work.

  16. granddadjohn says:

    Thank you for liking my Last bird images of 2012 blog. Appreciate it. Smoke gets in your eyes holds special memories for me also. On my 21st birthday it was top of the British hit parade and every time I hear it it brings back so many memories of those long gone days.

  17. mightwar says:

    A beautiful remembrance: a small thing holding a whole world of experiences and memories. I didn’t know that musical lighters even existed. It must have seemed such a wonder as a child.

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