Mom's fashion embarrassed me as a kid. After she died, her clothes were my most prized keepsakes

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This is a First Person column by Melanie Chambers, who lives in Rossland, B.C. For more information about CBC’s First Person stories, please see the FAQ.

It was just days after my mother died when I saw them on Queen Street West in Toronto — tall white canvas boots patterned with pink and blue donkeys. Mom would have loved these, I thought to myself. They were ridiculous, outrageous and inexplicable — just like her. Showstoppers. I immediately bought the boots and wore them along with a strapless white frilly dress to her backyard memorial. 

But there was a time when my mother’s fashion

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