This is a repost from July 17, 2013. It is one of my favourite stories of a Mother who left my head full of memories and my heart full of love. Our Mother went to join our Dad on Sunday morning.This Blog of mine was inspired by a woman and my listening to a lifetime full of her incredible stories. Rest in Peace Mom. I love you.
Too slow for those who Wait,
Too swift for those who Fear,
Too long for those who Grieve,
Too short for those who Rejoice,
But for those who Love
Time is not.
Henry van Dyke
While watching Mom pour sugar from the bottle into the blue mug full of coffee that the waitress had just poured, I was thinking this was going to be a very sweet tasting cup of coffee, but I uttered not a word. This was a good day and I was so happy to have it. There were a lot of things on the farm I could have been doing outside on this very sunny day but there was nothing that could not wait. I was where I wanted to be, I was where I needed to be.
We sat in the restaurant in the little village where I grew up and talked about old times. I commented on her shirt, the one she wore most times because it was one of her favourites, I asked her where it came from even though I already knew the story and selfishly wanted to hear it again. She tells me about a trip to Toronto and walking down the streets and popping into a little shop. This sounds so familiar to me, I know where I get my adventurous streak, I smile. This was a great day for Mom she was full of questions and stories and was so happy. I am pretty sure it had a lot to do with the sun finally shining and her getting out of the house.
The waitress had left the menus and Mom opens one up and asked “What is a wrap?” I did my best to explain and she exclaims she would not like that, this I knew. We have been to many restaurants over the years for lunch and she has usually stuck to the same things. Toasted Western, Turkey Club or Grilled Cheese and I knew one of them was going to be what she ordered, but then again you never know. The waitress came back “Grilled Cheese please” I order the Chicken Salad Sandwich, we hand those menus back to the waitress while Mom takes a sip of her coffee, she smiles and so do I, it appears to me the amount of sugar was perfect.
Mom continues with her story; “It was hand painted by a young artist in Toronto, you know my sign is Leo the Lion?” Yes Mom, I always add to her stories and I have no idea why. I love this story and it never ceases to get my imagination going and thinking about Mom wandering down those back streets of the Big City after being stuck in the little village where I grew up with none of that kind of excitement surrounding her. I could see her enjoying every exciting thing it had to offer and no doubt gathering stories from the people she met along the way. Oh yes I can see the similarities between us here. I find myself wondering if my girls will someday listen to my same stories over and over, when I run out of memories of things to share. “Isn’t it beautiful?” Yes Mom I love your shirt. “Thank you.”
I informed her that after lunch I was going to cut her lawn and maybe she would like to help, “How”, well how about you can drive the riding lawn mower and I will use the push mower? “No way” then she laughs out loud. She is laughing because she does not drive and I laugh knowing I would never let her. I love that sweet laugh. OK then, how about you do the push mower. “I don’t think so.” I always have to do all the work and you always get to have all the fun. We both laugh. The waitress brings the sandwiches and Mom immediately bites into it and comments that it is hot. We sat and watched the traffic and the people pass by.
The restaurant was full and Mom thinks it must be a holiday, I tell her it is Wednesday. “Oh” she gets that lost look in her eyes, I know that look and I hope it is just a glitch and she will get back on track. I ask her do you remember Cunningham’s Store Mom. “Oh yes dear”, she is back. I try to keep the conversation going.
Remember all the huge jars of candy that sat on the counter. She looks at me and remarks “I remember Mrs. Cunningham phoning the house and telling me someone had taken some candy without paying, I think it was one of the boys.” Wow I wondered where that came from I had never heard this before, the mind is a funny thing. What did you do Mom? “I made them go up and apologize and take the money they had earned shovelling coal for Mr. Jones.” Memories of her making me do the same thing when I was a kid, only it was a packet of balloons from the Red and White Store rushed back, I never stole anything ever again, she was very wise. I wondered if Mom remembered that about me. She picked up the spoon and stirred her coffee, “This is the best coffee I have ever had.” This is the best coffee I have ever had too Mom.
We finished our sandwiches and coffee and it may or may not have been the best coffee I ever had but it was certainly the best conversation and time I have had with Mom since our winter had arrived and took so long to leave.
We drove back to the house and I asked, Are you ready to help do the lawn, she looked at me and says “No way, I have some knitting to do” I laughed and reminded her it was true, she does get to have all the fun and I get to do all the work, she laughed.
Yes the mind is a mysterious thing and I enjoyed every bit of this day. I walked into the house she sat down to knit and I headed to the garage. “Be careful dear” I will Mom. Oh I love when the sun shines and those sweet things happen.
COMMENTS OFF. Thanks everyone for understanding.