Bittersweet Morning Memories

It’s eleven o’clock on a Thursday morning and I’m feeling more content than I’ve felt than a long time.

Gerry is at work today so it’s just me and the girls at home. Predictably, my house is silent. No music, no TV, no radio, just the sweet sound of silence. And the chirp of a few birds that I can hear from out in the back yard.

I lingered over a second cup of coffee this morning. It promises to be a hot day (relatively speaking, as hot here in the Pacific Northwest is nothing like what I’m accustomed to in the summer) and the morning perfect for sitting on the bench near my front door surveying the yard and listening to the nature sounds.

I spent some time in the kitchen making a batch of yogurt, cooking pasta that I’ll use to make salad with this afternoon, and making a pitcher of iced tea for later. I spent a bit of time in the garden putting a trellis in place for the squash.

They’re just simple tasks that fill me with a sense of peace and accomplishment; ordinary moments that remind me of summers gone by.

When I was out in the yard I overheard voices in one of the yards behind me. I couldn’t hear the words and I don’t know who was speaking them but for some reason I was reminded of my mom and my heart swelled with missing her. I even shed a few tears as I longed for her presence.

I remember summer mornings when she was staying with us when Dad was in the hospital. We’d fry chicken and make potato salad and jello early in the morning before the heat of the afternoon drove us outside. We’d sit at the kitchen table with a cup of cinnamon stick tea (the kind I bought especially for her when she visited) and chat about this and that. Together we would laugh at something my children did or said and we’d share confidences with one another.

I can scarcely believe it’s been twenty-seven summers since I shared moments like that with her. Sometimes it seems like it was another lifetime ago, other times, like this morning, it feels like yesterday.

She was fifty-five when she died. I’m fifty-three. I imagine what it would be like if she could somehow appear on my patio this afternoon and we could visit like two contemporaries. I wonder what we would talk about.

We’d probably chat about what’s happening in Laurinda and Michael’s lives. Oh how I wish she could be here to meet little miss Makiya! We’d talk about husbands and other family members long since gone.

And I’d tell her I miss her still.



I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. You write so sweetly and about precious memories. I felt like I was sitting there with you today:) I’m glad you have those times to remember of your mother. Praying the rest of your day is even sweeter!

    1. Thank you, Terri! I wish you were sitting here with me. We could have a great chat, I’m sure.

  2. How tender your heart is for your mom….and how touching you make the time to savor her memory….

    1. We never forget our moms, do we?

  3. Absolutely heartbreaking. What would we do without our memories, bittersweet tho they be.

    1. Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, Christine.

  4. Linda,
    Such a poignant moment shared. It seems it is in the solitude and silence that our loved ones come back to us in sweet wisps of memories and bittersweet longings. I’m up at the family cottage, missing my sweet Dad and Aunt, especially as I sit on the swing on the beach and look out at the lake. Your beautiful sharing touches a chord in me about my own bittersweet moments. Thanks you and may these memories sustain you throughout the day.
    PS your new website is lovely!

    1. So true. It is in silence and solitude that I am most creative. Enjoy your day at the cottage with sweet memories whispering to you now and then.

  5. Dear Linda, like you, I miss my mother still. She died at age 58. I was 32 at the time and had been in the convent and recently left. I was working several states away and we never got time to visit so that I could ask all the questions that now I wish I had.

    I’m so glad you have such good memories of when your mother visited you. The cooking, the chatting, the simply being together. Peace.

    1. Your mom was, as was mine, much to young to die. We can be thankful for the years we had together and look forward to a reunion one day in heaven.

  6. Such sweet memories. Thanks for opening that window in your life and sharing with us.

    1. Thank you for stopping by!

  7. Hi Linda .. so evocative .. and gosh your mother was young – Im so glad you can look back with bittersweet memories – enjoying the life she had and your life with her, while the despair of that early departure must have been very challenging.

    Love the description of the garden and your times in it – and in the kitchen .. evocative memories for me too … cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary!

      I hope the memories that came up for you were happy ones. Memories, bittersweet though they may be, comfort me.


  8. I can empathize with how you’re feeling. When I walk through gardens I always think of my grandmother, and on some days I feel like she was just here yesterday. Others it does actually feel like it was years ago. But I always miss her. I’m glad to hear you were close to your mom though. I always think it’s heartbreaking when I read stories about kids who’s parents pass away and they have mixed feelings about whether they miss them (Karl Alexander wrote this here: , when he talked about how his parents’ death).

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