Archives for category: Memories/Memoir

I sit here at the laundry mat, propped up on one of the swivel chairs, looking out the window, homework spread out, diligently writing out the questions that I will later fill in the answers for. Music plays in the background, I have caffeinated myself with a decaf mocha and though it has less caffeine, it still packs just the right amount of zing.

A group of pigeons…the movement in the tree brought my gaze back outside. I look out at the hills, the variety of tree species, one beginning to show its autumn foliage. And I think to myself how much I love trees, how amazing they are, how vacant I would feel without them. I think of my childhood pine tree that I used to climb and sit comfortably atop its large trunk-like branches; that tree is still there, and its also inside my heart. And the beautiful palm tree that shot up so tall, the large palm branches that jetted out; and the large umbrella-like tree that offered shade and a place to read.

The pigeon settles himself on a branch, his gray tones stand out against green and splashes of red. There one moment, gone the next.

It’s a busy laundry day…I see a mother walk by with two toddlers–a little girl entertained with a wad of newspaper, she walks by on her tippy toes, peering in, giggles.

Amongst the chores, the homework, a peaceful start to the morning–the mountains and trees a welcome backdrop.

(Photo was actually taken at sunset yesterday, November 12, 2015)

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
–E. E. Cummings

I don’t feel complete unless there is laughter and smiles in my day. Even on days when I’m feeling cranky, am unreasonable, and shout because my moods have taken the best from me, I can count on laughter setting me right.

A few days ago I wandered into a stationery store. I didn’t wander aimless, though. I had a simple mission to buy a single postcard for hubby. I had told him that I had seen it when I was searching for other postcards. I described it to him and he said why didn’t you get it for me? I shrugged my shoulders and told him that I wasn’t sure if he’d actually want it. Now he has it.

Ever since childhood I’ve adored stationery stores. I remember when my mother would take me for tea and a sweet pastry after ice skating practice or one of her doctor’s appointments. After seeking her permission, I would wander over to the stationary store just across the way. I would look through all the stickers, turning the stands in search of the perfect set. I collected them. I had a book full of wonderful stickers of all kinds: stickers that sparkled and glittered; puffy stickers; hearts, bears, flowers–all sorts. I don’t remember her ever going into the store with me. I would run back and ask her if I could buy some stickers. She didn’t give in right away. She might take a sip of her coffee, ask me if I really needed them, and she would end up pulling out a few dollars from her purse and hand it to me. I ran back as quick as I could and I would return giggly–happy to have new stickers.

There were other stationery stores too. It wasn’t always stickers. Sometimes it was miniature calendars, pretty paper, pens. But always, she stayed outside in the car unless we were at that one breakfast shop where she could wait inside. She was dying, and as the cancer progressed, she was in pain more often; but as a little girl these realities register in the mind differently.

I realize, too, that my mother didn’t like being home, even if no one else was there. She preferred being out and about. As the cancer took its toll on her, these were some of the ways that we were able to spend time together, knowing that her life was drawing to a close. So, I see now that she not only needed me as her little rock, but that she also relished the last moments that we would share–and those moments I remember with the core of my being, with joy, and a hint of sadness. But what would life be without both?

She was serious and angry a good part of her later life, but right now in this moment, I can remember…I hear her laughter and see her smile, and it fills my soul with blue skies, sunshine, and the happy chatter of birds.