I’ll think I’m doing OK. I walk around, sleep, eat, breathe, and show up wherever I’m supposed to be. For the most part nothing has changed in the day-to-day of things. And then suddenly something will remind me, and a cavernous space opens up inside of me that has no ending. I start to fall through it. And then I remember.
I had a mother once.
It happened today in Safeway. I was there at the pharmacy picking up the latest pain remedy, and Trazadone for sleep. There was going to be a wait, so I cruised the miscellaneous aisle where they keep all the summer “grab-me” items. That’s where it happened. A large Raggedy Ann doll was lying sideways in a summer lawn chair, smiling at me with her eyes agape. The image transported me back, forty plus years ago. I had a doll just like that. I remember relishing its sweet smiling face. I’m pretty sure it was lovingly hand-made by my mother. I loved that doll fiercely.
I had the same feeling two days ago as I went through her jewelry box. It was the same one I remember pouring over as a young girl. The box was covered in gold fabric of some kind, and had darkened with age. A rush of old memories laced with her delicate perfume went up my nose as I opened it. It used to sit on top of her dresser, with strings of beads and shiny things hanging out of it. I eagerly anticipated the times when she would dress up to go dancing with my father and let me go through her jewelry. I delighted in the sparkle of the rhinestones and crystals, and how the dangly ones caught the light as she moved.
I feel her when the wind blows through my hair. I hear her in the tinkle of wind chimes and when it is quiet enough to hear the song of a solitary songbird. I feel her urging me to live, to take in, to capture, and to create. She reminds me that the most fulfilling time of her life began at about the age that I am now. I know that if she had my body and my mind, she would not waste them.
“The time is now,” she whispers.