Project 365 Day 10

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To you, this might look just like an old box. To me, it’s one of my most prized possessions. 

I don’t know how old this Samsonite case is, but I’m 35, and it’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  This was what my grandma used as her make up case. 

I can remember when I was younger sitting in her kitchen watching her put her make up on.  This case would be sitting on a chair in front of her with the lid propped on the back of the black vinyl swivel chair because it wouldn’t stay open on it’s own.  She’d lean over the case to look in the mirror to do her make up.  Every day. She was so glamorous to me with her hair that she had done every week (as so many of our grandmas did) and her make up that she’d put on just so. 

She passed away when I was 14 and part of my heart went with her. I got her make up case, and though it might look like only an old beat up traveling case, I’ve cherished it ever since.  I use it for my own make up case and hopefully my girls will have the same fond memories of watching me put on my make up. (I say girls, but that includes Christiano who feels the need to dig through all my make up as I put it on.

The A on the box stands for Alice.  Some of you who have been visiting me for years know the story behind Alyce’s name, but I’ll share for those who don’t.  My grandma’s name was Mary Alice, but she wouldn’t answer to Mary.  Even in the hospital when she was fighting the cancer that started in her kidneys and would eventually take over her whole body, the doctor’s would ask her a question, something simple like, how are you today Mary?  And she wouldn’t answer them.  She went by Alice.  Her name was Alice.  Don’t call her Mary.  When I was pregnant with Alyce, I came across some papers that showed my grandma’s middle name spelled as Alyce and my mom said she thought that was actually how it was spelled, but that my grandma spelled it Alice.

So, Alyce was named Maria Alyce to give it more of a hispanic flair (For those of you here for the first time, daddy is Mexican, we try to give tribute to his heritage when we name our kids).  We call her Alyce because I wanted her to be named after my grandma and I wanted it done just like my grandma’s name.  The only thing different is we don’t pronounce Alyce – Alice.  We pronounce it as uh-leese.

It helped with Pato’s family that both of his grandmas are and were named Maria. 

I turned this into a blog post all on it’s own. I had to explain the significance behind this box that holds so many precious memories for me. I’m not sure where the burn on the box came from, but even that holds memories.  It reminds me of the burns on my grandma’s kitchen floor.  She had a habit of letting her cigarettes burn out, light it, take a puff, sit it down, let it burn.  Woe to the person who tried to put it out so that she could smoke it later as my mom can attest to.  Sometimes, the cigarette hit the linoleum and it would burn a mark into it.  That mark on the case looks just like one of her burn marks, but I’m not quite sure how that would have happened.  It probably seems sad that cigarette burn marks on a kitchen floor are part of my cherished memories, but when it comes to my grandma, every memory is cherished. 

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  • Susan Doty

    I also have cherished memories of that case and i guess I didn’t know you had my mom’s case, lucky you. Aunt Sue