As I reached to the very top of my closest; I suddenly had the contents of the top shelf on my head. I'm short, 5' 1" and reaching for something out of reach typically ends with something on top of me. This time it was all of my purses, except for the one I wanted of course. Standing on my tip toes and using another purse as a tool; I finally got what I'd been reaching for. I wanted to switch purses; I'm bored with the one I'm using now so I needed a change. Changing bags is always a great time to clean out all the garbage. I sat on the floor under a bright light and dumped the contents of the main compartment onto the carpet. After tossing all the garbage from the bottom of my purse; I was left with very little to switch over. It always amazes me how much garbage can accumulate in a purse.
I was going from brown to black. I grabbed the black one to check that it had nothing left in it from the last use before switching over. As I unzipped the outside pocket to check for anything left behind, I gasped. "No way," I said as Elsa moved in closer to see. Quickly but carefully I removed the contents; a beautiful mound of silver fur. Elsa was going crazy as she stuffed her whole muzzle down deep into the pocket. She sniffed around forever; then moved to the counter top where I'd placed the fur. It was Tilley's and I had no idea it was in my black purse at that moment.
Memories flooded my thoughts as I watched Elsa trying to get a read on the fur. I swear that she was going through the exact same thing that I was. She couldn't get enough of the scent; and as I let her continue trying to get enough; my thoughts went back to my beautiful Tilley. How can it be two years already? Elsa stopped sniffing and stared at me; I wanted to ask her if she knew that it was Tilley's hair. Knowing Elsa like I do; she knew exactly who's curly hair was in the purse. I looked at her wondering what she was going through at that moment. Was she remembering with a flood of memories as I was? Or was she just hit with familiarity by scent? Whatever it was, something was happening.
Once again she dug her muzzle down into the pocket of the purse and sniffed deeply. I wished that I could understand what she was feeling, remembering or even thinking. There is no way to know, but as she sniffed and stopped to look at me over and over again; I knew that this was no normal scenting for her. We sat quietly for sometime; my thoughts wandering off to my Tilley. I remembered the day that I got that little mound of fur. It was from her very last grooming; before I knew that I would not have the chance to brush that beautiful grey coat of hers again. I'd put it all into a bag after her groom and then found it about a week after she was gone. I was never so happy to have not cleaned up after myself. I could have very easily brought that bag of hair to the garbage and never seen it again. But I hadn't, I'd left it there beside the grooming table. I took a handful and gently tucked it away.
When we left Connecticut, it was one of the first things that I secured. I clearly remembering putting it in my purse for safe keeping. The movers had arrived and chaos surrounded us once again; but it was not going to get lost in the shuffle. This purse has sat in my closet since being unpacked. But there was the hair; safe where I had stored it, nearly two years ago. A lot has happened in the two years since our Tilley left us; it seems unbelievable that it has been two years. But, she is in my thoughts constantly; memories keep her very much a part of me. Sometimes a trigger like this, a little mound of fur brings with it a flood of recollection; the good old days rush in all at once. My memories of Tilley are tucked away safely in my heart. Safe, like the tiny mound of fur that made it hidden away, across the country. Timing was perfect, the decision to switch purses could not have come at a better time. Elsa and I sat and had a moment and made a new memory.