“Mama, just for a moment we’re happy. Let’s really look at one another.”
–Thornton Wilder, Our Town
Tonight, on the way to Bridgy’s baton twirling class, I stopped and got a frozen iced coffee from McDonald’s. I guess I forgot you’re not supposed to drink caffeine after 3 p.m., which is why I’m awake at 3 a.m. bla, bla, blogging.
Tonight, when I got home from work, I decided to rearrange some things in my kitchen cabinets. Unexpectedly, I came across a box that belonged to my mother. It was labeled Cake Decor – Color – Tips. I opened it for the first time since bringing it home from her apartment after she died. Inside were bottles of sprinkles she often used in making cookies. She loved to give them away at Christmastime.
I picked up a bottle of snowflake sprinkles and wrapped my hand around it and rolled it. And, then, like a scene from a dreadfully predictable movie, I hugged the box and cried from that place inside me where all the love for my mother still lives. These cries aren’t gulping sobs or tender mewls, but keen sorrows I set free. Sorrows I have sucked up hour by hour and day by day since the day she died, December 24, because, this is what the schedule has required.
Occasionally, I say to my sister, “Christmas Eve? Are you kidding me?” Other times, while laying on the couch and watching the latest bad news from the talking heads, I say, “My mother never saw 2018.” Like it’s still sinking in that she is gone and not here to enjoy all the madness with me.
She was an amazing mother.
I take the sprinkles out of the box one by one and set them on the counter. One of the bottles is an old pill bottle filled with flat, pastel sprinkles. I laugh remembering how utilitarian Mom was. Never let a perfectly good pill bottle go to waste.
There were so many prescriptions over the years. She had to take so many pills just to stay alive. I’m so glad she doesn’t have to do that anymore. But, I still wish she wasn’t gone. I wish that a lot. Especially now that something wonderful is on the horizon. I know she would have wanted to be here for it.
Juliette called me the other day with something important to say. “All the things she wanted to happen are happening,” she said. And she listed off the restorations and miracles.
It’s good to know that even after we die, our prayers still go on being answered and faith really is eternal.