Story 14Button 14



I have an old jam jar filled with buttons. Pearl ones, plastic ones, glass ones, shell ones, wooden and fabric ones too.

It might just look like a jar full of odd buttons to some people but if you were to tip them out in front of me and pick one up at random, I could tell you the outfit it was originally from, the person who wore it, and I bet I could tell you the year it’s from as well.

Every button in that jar is from an old outfit that my mother has saved. There are some tiny little blue ones off the very first cardigans I wore as a baby, when everyone used to think I was boy because I always wore something blue. Mum’s keen on fighting stereotypical views like pink is just ‘for girls’ and blue is a ‘boys’ colour.

There is a small ivory button which is off mum’s wedding dress, a couple off my christening and communion gowns, and even one off the nightgown my mum wore when she gave birth to me. Which is a bit weird isn’t it?

My favourite one out of all of them though, is one you probably wouldn’t guess if I asked you to. It’s brown and small, and  boring, I suppose. Nothing special about it at all you’d think.

But I like it because it was my granddads. It belonged to this cardigan he used to wear all the time, even in the summer when he wouldn’t take it off. I don’t know if he still wears it. I haven’t seen him for a few months. Last time mum took me to visit him in the care home he lives he kept asking over and over again ‘Where’s Alice? When will Alice be here?

 Nanas been dead nearly ten years.

At first mum had to tell him Nana was dead. But it was like he had only just found out every time we told him so now we just say she is on her way, she won’t be long Granddad.

Last time I saw him he had on that cardigan and he was twisting one of the buttons round and round and round, asking for Alice, Alice, Alice…

The button pinged off and rolled under my chair. I picked it up and held it tight in my hand until I got home and put it in the jam jar. I don’t think granddad noticed it had fallen off.

 I can’t see him anymore, mum said it is too upsetting for me, and that he won’t remember me anyway. He doesn’t remember her.

I miss him.   

To someone else, that jam jar is a jar full of buttons.

To me, it’s full of memories.





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