Tuesday, April 29, 2014

One More...


                    
    Today is the anniversary of the day I lost my mom, aka Nana, Grandma Ginny and Maw-Maw.
When I was a little girl seven years old, Mom took me to Ben Franklin Dime Store. The aromas of freshly popped pop corn and chocolate candies tempted my taste buds. I walked over to peer into the glass candy counter with its glass dividers and multitude of selections which were sold by the pound. We could seldom afford even a quarter pound of the chocolates or Brach's Bridge mix. I gazed wistfully at the confections. I inhaled the delightful aromas. I salivated imaging how the gooey caramel-filled chocolates would tingle my tongue. I spied Mom's favorite, peanut clusters and Dad's favorites, sugar coated gummy orange slices and green spearmint leaves. I made my way around the square island. I was shocked when I spied a bin of  non-pareils as big around as clip-on earrings. I stared in disbelief at the gigantic size Snow Caps and jabbered to myself about them. Then I looked up into a mannequin's face. I said, "Hi" and excitedly laughed. The mannequin returned my greeting, "Hi."
Embarrassed, I bent down so as not to be seen, and I hovered near the wooden base of the candy counter. I scanned the immediate vicinity for my mom, but she was nowhere in sight. Too embarrassed to stand up and look at the candy counter salesgirl, I reached for a small shiny object on the floor and sliced my finger wide open on a piece of broken glass.
I wailed, not from the pain of my cut finger, but from the fear of losing my mom. She had been nearby all along. She rushed to see what was wrong. I clung to her skirt. I preferred her scolding to having to look into the eyes of that "live mannequin."
Losing my mom was one of the most heart pounding, breath taking, scariest feelings I'd ever experienced. My throat constricted. When Mom grabbed my hand, relief coursed through me.
                                                                        ~~~
Fast forward fifty years. Mom and I had been zipping in and out of the car all morning going to yard sales on a hot summer day. Mom liked to linger; I preferred to scan the items, make a purchase and/or move on to the next sale. It wasn't unusual for me to wander off, especially when there were several sales in the same area. By 12:30 we were tired and agreed we'd had enough for one day. She asked me to take her to the grocery store before taking her home. As I was heading there, I noticed a sign for a block sale ahead on a cul-de-sac street with eight houses. 

I was so excited by this wonderful end to our yard sale day. I couldn't wait to get out of the car for this last hurrah. Most of the tables and displays were picked over that late in the day. I rushed from one sale to the other. After I made several purchases, I turned around to show Mom my treasures. I looked down the block. Up the block. I hightailed it, and back tracked around the arc of a street to the first house. My throat felt tight, I was on the verge of panic. Where could she have gone? I revisited every yard and peered into every garage. My heart pounded wildly. I felt like that little seven year old girl again who had lost her mommy. Alone, lost, afraid...for her well being this time, not mine.
I asked each homeowner, "Have you seen my mom? I seem to have lost her. Little, elderly, white haired woman wearing a white visor cap? She was just with me."

Nobody had seen her. The sellers began to look at me strangely when I babbled, "We've been together all day going from one sale to the next. I can't imagine how I lost her.  Where could she be? Maybe she asked someone to use their bathroom?" Before long I was talking more to myself as I wandered up and down the street two more times past the eight homes. When I got to the last house, I glimpsed the bank building across the main street.
Embarrassed, my throat constricted, my heart thumped like a jack hammer and I could not meet the eyes of those yard sale proprietors. I rushed to my car, inserted the key and drove across the street to the bank, hung a left and pulled up in front of the brand new Save-A-Lot grocery store.

"I thought you said you'd be right back!" Mom said accusingly as she slid into the passenger seat with her groceries.

"I thought you were still with me! I was afraid I'd lost you. I've been searching for you for fifteen minutes. I couldn't figure out where you were, and those women must have thought I was nuts looking for someone who was never even with me in the first place. I even told those women you got out of the car with me. I asked if they remembered seeing you."
I shook my head and chuckled, "I completely forgot I dropped you off at this store! I was thinking we were going to our regular store, Shop and Save, after these last sales."

By the time I drove her to her apartment, we were laughing so hard we were both crying.

Today the loss is especially deep. It has been exactly seven years since Mom died. My throat feels tight. All day I will blink back tears.
I feel like that little girl again.

I feel like that middle aged woman who thought she'd lost her mom at the yard sales.


I feel like the old woman I am. I wish I could have my mom back for one more day, for one more laugh, one more hug, one more...

15 comments:

Shelly said...

This squeezed my heart, especially since we have just lost my father in law and mother in law in the last 6 weeks. Hugs to you.

noexcuses said...

Your writing "from the heart" is amazing and nails it every time! Reading this wonderful and touching story has inspired me to finish up the piece I'm working on about my mom. Thank you, Linda! May your heart continue to be filled with wonderful memories like these!

Bookie said...

Ah, a sad anniversary...but what memories you have! Those will be with you always.

Lisa Claro said...

Crying with you, Linda. I miss my Mama, too. Becoming a middle-aged orphan is one of life's strangest realities. The story you shared is funny, just the right amount of laughter to offset the tears.

River said...

It seems sad to say this, but I'm glad you miss your mum. My mum and I were strangers, she's been gone almost ten years and I haven't cried even once. I don't miss her.

Susan Sundwall said...

Linda, don't wish her back. You'd have to let go all over again. Think of her meeting you at the gates of Heaven.

Sioux said...

Linda--This post brought tears to my eyes. No matter how old we get, or how long they've been gone, we always want our mom...

Susan said...

Awwwwww, Linda. That was lovely. We will always miss our Moms, won't we? Always. Susan

Dianna Graveman said...

Beautiful post, Linda. It's been four years since I lost my mom, and I wish we'd been closer. Sometimes caring for my dad in my home can be a challenge, and your post reminded me of how much I should treasure every moment. Because he lives with me, I am closer to my dad than I ever had a chance to be with my mom. Again, lovely post.

Carol OurSearsKitHome said...

Linda,
What a beautiful post. And the yard sale story was the perfect note.
Your mom was truly a treasure.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I envy you! I wish I could have had that kind of relationship with my mother!

Debora said...

Linda, this is so touching. The death of our mothers is so hard. I'm sure that you, like me, often wish you could stop by or call with special news; or just run something by her that's been bothering you. Now we've become the beloved mother. I'm trying hard to live up to the job.

Val said...

Well, I'm crying, too, and I still have my mom. I talk to her twice a day, and almost every week, she gives me five dollars, just for being her daughter.

Hugs to you today.

Daisy said...

I can so relate to this, Linda. My mom has been gone a little over three years now. I miss her so much. Sending you a big cyber hug. ♥

Lynn said...

Yeah, we always want our mommy. But your story about losing her was a riot, omg, can't believe you forgot you dropped her off. Hilarious!