Purple Candle

My mother’s 22-year-old candle.
My mother’s 22-year-old candle.

This is a candle that belonged to my mother, and now to me. My mother is a proper southern belle; and was raised by a respectable Christian woman in the upstate of South Carolina. My grandmother, who I called Mimi, was a huge part of my life, but I lost her when I was very young. I didn’t have the time to ask her for stories of her life, or lives before hers, and my mother is reluctant to tell them, or doesn’t know herself. On the other hand, she’s thrilled to show me her past, and I’m happy to see. I have pictures of her with my aunt, who graduated from Coastal and went on to work at a record label. I have my mom’s smile as she points out the house where her and my dad had their wedding reception as we drive by, and their wedding album. And I have this candle, that has been burned only the slightest bit. I imagine it was burned because she was thinking about someone, that’s usually the reason she lights them, but it must have been 21 years ago. When we were younger, my twin sister and I were never ones to be tempted with a fire hazard, so they went away. Now that we’re older, she’s started burning them again, as have I. I pulled out this purple one when I was thinking about her, because it’s her favorite color. I’m not sure what distant lands are in my blood, but I call this state home. I have never desired to know more about my heritage, other than the proper southern raising my parents gave me. Why should I care about that, when I have the bright flame of memories of the people I love all around me?

Place(s): South Carolina

– Grace Gardner

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more