Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich


It started with a blustery day.

Blustery days remind me of Winnie the Pooh, childhood comfort reading as satisfying to the soul as pot pie to the lips–tubby-little cubby-all-stuffed-with-fluff and all.  Cross-legged on the floor with the book in my eight-year-old lap, I can see Pooh’s cast of characters parading though its pages… Christopher Robin… Rabbit… Piglet…Kanga and Roo… Eeyore…

I missed my mother today.

She’s been gone so long it’s not often I feel that way anymore. Maybe that sounds awful or maybe it sounds helpful to those who’ve lost a parent, but either way it’s my truth.

The things I inherited from her are among my most prized earthly possessions–clothes and costume jewelryher fine china, a polyphone.  Mama’s heart beats in them because they’re choices she made; I hold each dear for that reason alone.  I don’t have any cards or notes from her but every time I see Mama’s signature on my third grade report card, I softly trace each cursive letter and imagine her signing it. Twice, anyway…by the third signature she was gone.

Just like that.

But today it was blustery and I thought about Winnie the Pooh and then I thought about Mama and how I wish she was here to know me all grown up and older than she’d ever get to be. Mostly, I wish she could see that all the important things she gave me were lasting and real as Velveteen and she’d probably recognize those things in my children.

Good manners.  Deep faith.  Determination.  Gratefulness.  

So I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, opened a bag of Fritos and poured a Coca Cola over crushed ice.  I trimmed the edges of my sandwich and cut it into quarters–triangles, not squares–and I fished a bendy straw out of the kitchen cabinet to make it just right.

The lunch Mama made me dozens of times.  

And not so alone, I listened to the haunt of a train whistle in the distance and watched an ivy waterfall along our backyard brick wall wave to me through our kitchen window.


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