Welcome back to Member Monday. Today we welcome first time poster, Patsy Parker. Grab a cup of something warm and a tissue and enjoy Patsy’s poignant essay.
I Saw My Mom Today
by Patsy Parker
I saw my mom today, even though she’s been dead for eight years, two months, and nine days. She rose from her bed in the late morning. The aroma of fresh coffee tickled her nose. The sounds of creaking and crackling filled her ears as she walked down the hall. They weren’t coming from the floor.
When she reached the kitchen, she pulled her favorite coffee mug down from the cabinet. It was the only one she used; it read simply “Mom.” Her daughter had given it to her one year for her birthday.
I saw my mom today. On summer days such as this she stayed in her loose-fitting clothes all day since she didn’t have to drive kids to school for three months. She liked to read in the mornings while she sipped her coffee. Then she did some chores here and there – laundry mostly since her teenage daughter did the dishes for her every day. Her son took out the trash.
Occasionally, she sat in the backyard to listen to the morning birds. Then she walked around the lawn looking for a few weeds to pull. If her neighbor was out, she waved hello. She used to have a favorite neighbor many years ago. Slowly the neighborhood became filled with younger women who had jobs and children in school. It changed too quickly she thought.
I saw my mom today. She went back to her bedroom to read which she often did in the afternoons before it was time for dinner. She read mostly novels, but sometimes non-fiction such as short stories. She loved any story that had a happy ending, always the optimist.
In the evenings after dinner, she sat in her room with her whiskey and soda and watched her favorite shows or a good movie. She made the trip down the hall a few more times before she turned out the light to go to sleep; instead she lay awake for hours tossing and turning.
I saw my mom today. Her white hair fixed nice with the smell of hairspray freshly spritzed. She stood in front of the mirror putting her make-up on. Flicking off the bathroom light, she walked down the hall as quickly as she could to get her purse and go grocery shopping.
When she arrived home, she came in the door tired and sighing heavily as she put bags on the dining room table. She put the groceries away, made herself a glass of iced tea, and went to sit on the couch for a few minutes.
I saw my mom today when I looked in the mirror. Same color hair, reading a novel, lounging in my loose-fitting clothes. Drinking coffee in the early morning from my sea turtle mug, minus the nightly drinking and insomnia. Not quite the optimist mom was, seeing the worst case scenarios first. I went grocery shopping today, but I treated myself to a movie and a trip to the library first. In addition to reading tonight, I thought…I wrote…I remembered.
I saw my mom today when I looked in the mirror, but mostly I saw myself.
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