I don't talk about it as much as I used to, Mom, but I still think of you. In the ordinary, everyday activities of life one thing or another will spark a memory and I'll think of you....
I think of you when I sit on my lovely porch, enjoying the woods and the breeze and the quiet. You always loved porches and decks and dreamed of one on the back of your house where no one could see you relaxing. I'd love to let you relax on mine.
I think of you when I make sugary biscuits and serve them up on a Sunday morning to children who came straight from bed to snatch them up and eat them. Just like I used to back when I wasn't the mom who got up early and slaved away in the kitchen before the rest of the household stirred.
I think of you when I make tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwiches on your Belizean camal. (If you've never tried sprinkling Italian seasoning and garlic salt on your cheese sandwiches before grilling, you should try it. Yum.)
I think of you when we have visitors who exclaim over my shelves and I tell them, "These gold dishes were my grandma's, then my mom's, and now mine." (The ones on the lower right.)
I think of you when there are piles of dishes and it's really one of the children's turn to wash them but I feel sorry for them and do it instead. I learned that from you, Mom.
I think of you when we carry our supper outside and eat it in the cool, evening breeze. It reminds me of our old picnic table and spraying 'Off' to discourage the bugs and swatting the cats away as we enjoyed supper outside because you liked to make our eyes sparkle, just because.
I think of you when Jennifer begs to plant a little garden - even if it's late; even if it's rocky and weedy and all we have is a hoe and a shovel. You gave me a love for gardening, Mom, and I just can't say no.
I think of you when my girls drag their mattresses out on the porch on a warm summer night. As I help them set up their cozy beds and roast marshmallows over candles I remember how much you loved to sleep outside, Mom. You would have loved to hear about their "camp out".
I think of you when I stir up this crumb cake. I wonder how many, many tin foil pans you filled with this delicacy to give to a family who had lost a loved one or needed a little cheering? Now it's my go to dessert when I need to make a meal for a family with a new baby, and I always think of you when I make it, Mom. (This particular pan was just for us, and disappeared in one day!)
I think of you, too, when I hear of your sister who is suffering from cancer. As much as I miss you, Mom. As much as the everyday things in life bring up memories and I think of you and wish I could talk to you again to tell you things or ask you questions. As much as I pause sometimes, with tears in my eyes, and wonder what life would be like if you were still here, there is no way I could wish you back. No way I could wish a different way for you to go; no way I could wish for you the hardships of sickness and old age and pain on this earth in exchange for the glory you are experiencing.
So, when the 101 things come along that remind me of you, I will remember with a smile and a tear and treasure the memories.