I have now lived the same amount of years without my mother as with her. 20+20. Thinking of you today, mom.
So I wanted to write a long, commemorative post. But I’ve let stresses and deadlines get in the way. There’s still more February for remembering, though.
20 years, half my life, is a long enough time to have forgotten mostly everything. I can’t remember her voice, but I remember how she liked to repeat stories or phrases twice, for emphasis. I can’t focus in on her face, but I remember her eyes (the only non-brown pair in the family), her nose, her mole, her smell, the clothes she wore. I can’t remember any conversations we had, but I remember being loved, of sitting on the couch together watching TV, or a movie. I remember picking berries and mushrooms together, “going for a drive,” and her excitement over having visitors from out-of-town to show off Central Oregon to. I remember spaghetti with dried and reconstituted morels (a gallon jar of dried morels survived longer than she did), sauerkraut and hot dogs, fried zucchini, and sharing “raw” stuffing together at Thanksgiving. I remember that she liked to watch her “stories” (soap operas) and drink Constant Comment tea, which she insisted on calling Constant Comet. I remember that she had to stop drinking coffee because it upset her stomach—and later, so did I. I remember that she liked to take long, hot baths with a book—and so do I. I remember that she loved our companion animals—mostly cats, a dog here and there. I remember going to antique stores, thrift stores, and flea markets, often. I remember a house full of clutter that felt like home.
Most days, something reminds me of her. I wonder where she’s been all these years?