I still smell her in it like she wore it just yesterday, hence why I never wash it. Her scent in my nose smells like a priceless fragrance when holding it, so rare yet so familiar. In it I feel her, I pretend she is still alive and holding me so tight. Wrapping myself around It, I escape to a world where I find her, where she is alive and happy.
It is funny how a piece of clothing can mean so much to a person and hold so much sentiment. Remembering how it never meant anything while she was still alive, yet now it means everything to me. It’s like it is no longer just a piece of clothing; it is so much more than that. I sometimes fail to even explain it myself. In its presence I lose myself at the same time I find my deeper self, I don’t know if it makes sense. But I feel at peace when holding it. It brings me this feeling like it is talking to me, call me crazy, but I feel so close to her through it and I see her through it. I draw strength from her through it. I can never imagine anyone wearing it except for her and myself. To me it seems like she comes to life through it, just for me.
It’s like she knew it that we will need it one day and she got four, one for each of her female children. And each cloth holds a memory we each refuse to let go of. I guess that explains it, why we were able to give away her other clothing but never her traditional clothing (Minwenda). My something special, for this one piece of clothing I would walking straight into a burning house just to get it back.
When I am hopeless and alone it gives me courage, all I do is cover myself in it and image her telling me that it is going be all right.
My something special, my sentimental item, my pride, my joy and my pillar of strength. It is a Tshivenda traditional cloth, (Munwenda). It is not just any other traditional clothing, it is my late mother’s traditional clothing. It is a piece of her that I try to keep alive. Its scents I wish to keep forever. No other item in this world is important or that special to me than my late mother’s traditional clothing. It holds beautiful and painful memories I don’t wish to erase, but am grateful to have. It is a reminder I will forever cherish and hold that I once had the best mother I girl could ever wish for. My something special, that I would only trade for her only if I could.