It has been ten years today since my mother passed away. It could have been last week. I don’t have to close my eyes to imagine my mother just as she was – at the end of her, or at any point in my, life.
I can see my mother bringing the frozen laundry in from the line, smell the fresh air, and feel the icy cold that she brought with it.
I can see my mother playing badminton with my sister Lorraine, sitting at the card table working on a jigsaw puzzle, or at the kitchen table playing Scrabble with us and our children.
I can see my mother at church – weekdays and Sundays, attending funerals of friends and neighbors, serving up food at Parrish suppers and get togethers.
I can see my mother knitting and crocheting sweaters and dresses, mittens and scarves for her grandchildren. I can see her at the kitchen table sewing dresses for my sisters and I.
I can see my mother cooking everyday meals, Sunday dinners, and holiday feasts – as well as baking an endless supply of fresh bread, buns, cakes, desert squares, and pies.
I can see my mother cleaning, painting, and decorating our home – throughout the seasons, over the years.
I can see my mother arriving at my home – bearing baked goods and gifts for myself and my family. Making herself at home by doing laundry, washing dishes, making meals, and poisoning the dog (the last one may have been an accident but you don’t put chocolate under the Christmas tree when there’s a dog in the house )
I can see my mother in the nursing home, her final home on earth, visiting with her grandbabies’ babies – pushing them up and down the hallway on her walker, introducing them to nurses and residents, and proudly accompanying them to Sunday brunch at the Mayfair.
I can see my mother doing a million everyday, ordinary things that mothers do. It could have been decades ago or it could have been last week.
I hope that where my mother is now, she can see that we noticed and appreciated all that she did – and that it has not, and never will be, forgotten.