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.