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Hey Mom, You Should Know…

…I Kept the Bedspread.

Remember the one that matched that wacky green carpet and odd gold walls in the new house on Cleveland Street? You laid it across your bed one day: mauve and pale pink flowers on a leafy background of green and gold along with a plaid pattern in muted shades of maroon. It matched the flooring and walls perfectly, as if the room had been decorated around that spread.

After we admired it for most of one morning, I helped you roll it up and stuff it into the plastic sack. We shoved it back in the top of your closet. “I don’t want to get it dirty,” you told me. “I’ll use it someday.”

That someday never came.

It seems impossible that over ten years have passed without you. I still have boxes and boxes of your stuff. We sold your red Ford LTD for $3000 and that was the exact amount the movers charged me to move your entire household into the storage area of our office building. I didn’t feel like going through it then. Maybe someday I’ll find the time to sift  through your treasures. Perhaps I will ask the boys to help me.

And by the way, your grandsons have grown into fine young men. I wish you could know them.

I really miss the thump-hum of your sewing machine. The whispered frustrations when your thread got a knot and how patient you were when you worked for hours ripping out an entire seam. You were so meticulous.  Thanks for including me in those stupid crafty projects. I complained then, but now I realize our time together was special and precious. I hang the snowman quilt on the wall every year; the one you made for us on our first Christmas together as a married couple. That was 30 years ago.

Those old movies aren’t as fun, but I still watch them without you. If you were here, we’d drink tea out of the ruby red goblets you never used. You were saving those for someday too. We’d eat one of your meringue cookies that you made every Christmas. Speaking of the holidays,  your  Christmas cactus is doing great, except that it blooms around Mother’s Day every year instead of in December.

When I think of you, it’s the little things that haunt me.  Biting into a snow white cookie. Staying up late to eat popcorn and watch Doris Day. Sewing a Santa face placement. Wishing I had been more considerate and less hateful (why do we act like that as teenagers? Sorry.)

I still have many questions to ask you, so many words left unsaid. Your absence is like a whisper of smoke in the air, a constant shadow over my heart. I can’t recall the sound of your laugh. I wish for one of those days back, and yet time propels us always forward.

If I could go back in time, I would like to understand why you never used that rose-covered bedspread. And the next question that comes to mind, is why am I still storing it in my closet?

Miss you, Mom.

Natalie Bright is a blogger and author of the fun, historical western TROUBLE IN TEXAS series for middle grade readers, the RESCUE ANIMAL eBook series, and is currently working on the TEXAS FRONTIER series,  action-packed novels for young adults. Read about Natalie’s grandmother and her cherry salad recipe, recently selected for “THE WESTERN WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK: Favorite Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Writing Wisdom” (TwoDot Publishing, June 2017). Book info here: Amazon Author Pages