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Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin vestigium footstep, footprint, track, vestige
15th century

1 a (1): a trace, mark, or visible sign left by something (as an ancient city or a condition or practice) vanished or lost (2): the smallest quantity or trace b: footprint 12: a bodily part or organ that is small and degenerate or imperfectly developed in comparison to one more fully developed in an earlier stage of the individual, in a past generation, or in closely related forms

Even the smallest traces of a loved one are invaluable, any physical reminder they were once part of us.

A photo, a lock of hair, a tooth, a gold filling.

It was part of them, and therefore part of us.

I don’t know why we savor such mementos.

I hoard my mother’s handwriting.

She does not like phones, will not email but will send letters now and then.

I save them.

They are a connection to her.

When I see her penmanship, I can see her skin and hear her voice. I smell her sweetness.

It’s like removing time and distance. And by saving, I somehow think I can.
- Mary O. Fumento, 2008


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