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 jewelry, her 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.
Awe, Robin, these are such sweet memories, and what a wonderful way to reflect upon them. I love that you made your lunch that way. It’s in those little things that bring such comfort, especially around food.
Love you sweet sister-in-love! Your Moma would be so very proud of the woman you are and the wonderful family you have raised!
Ginger, (bitter)sweet, definitely :).
Bebe, I WONDERED IF YOU’D SEE ERIN’S PICCHA! Of course, that’s below this post but I couldn’t wait for you to discover it! I hope it’s ok…I kept her face hidden :).
I love how these memories are painful and comforting all at the same time, like so much of our earthly existence. My mom love the tri-colored coconut candies. When I need her comfort, one bite and I can feel her. I was in fourth grade when she went to be with Jesus. The missing never seems to go away but evolves through the seasons of life. Thank you for your beautiful words.
Oh here I came over all ready to give you a ‘what do you mean you are not coming to relevant’ speech and instead you made me cry …
Beautiful words, a sweet tribute!
Oh Robin, thank you for this post. I lost my mother over thrity years ago when I was twelve. During the summer between my sixth and seventh grade year, she finally succumbed in her valiant nine year battle with cancer. She showed me what true courage was as she struggled to ensure I would remember her and share her values of hard work, determination and faith in God.
Robin, this is absolutely beautiful. From the little I know of you, I’m positive your mom would be so proud of the woman you’ve grown up to be.
oh the ache and the sigh… and the comfort that it doesn’t go away but it can fade on the in between days. loving you extra hard today, sweetness.
Of all the quotes and “helpful” words that were sent my way after my parents died six weeks apart,few ministered to me. This is one that has stayed with me over the past 25 years. Maybe it will speak your “heart language” also.
“A death has occurred and everything is changed. We are painfully aware that life can never be the same again, that yesterday is over, that relationships once rich have ended. But there is another way to look upon this truth. If life now went on the same, without the presence of the one who has died, we could only conclude that the life we remember made no contribution, filled no space, meant nothing. The fact that this person left behind a place that cannot be filled is a high tribute to this individual. Life can be the same after a trinket has been lost, but never after the loss of a treasure.” Paul Irion
Your writing is a blessing!
Debbie Ginn Settle
What very sweet and precious memory. I’m very certain your mama was smiling on you today.
Yes! I actually saw it afterwards and didn’t take the time to comment twice! You made her day! She told everyone at school that she was on your blog!