For a long time, I saw you everywhere I went. My leisurely declining eyesight leads my brain to fill in the blanks, and I would see you sitting at cafe’s or walking down hallways or sitting behind windows or or or.
I don’t see her anymore, but recently she’s been visiting me in my dreams. I got to see her last night.
A cast of direct family members sits around an ovular table lined with a cheap-but-tasteful cloth. The surface is set with dishes passed on to the mother by the grandmother, who received them from her mother. One corner of the room houses an antique sewing machine, the manual kind with a food pedal. A recently emptied dark stained china cabinet sits empty next to an opening that leads to the room that houses the table. This room has two windows who hold hands on the wall beside the long side of the table that always seems to collect the older children. The other side houses the younger children, and the ends are occupied by the mother and father. It’s Easter. The mother has this tradition of buying all the children little outfits and getting pictures taken at the local JC Penny. These outfits always consist of a pair of khakis, a striped or patterned sweater, and a cute little vest. Post pictures and pre bedtime the family finds itself saying grace around a meal of oven-baked chicken, stuffing, and canned green-beans.
This is about the point that I popped in, and when I opened my eyes from praying to a god I no longer believe in, I saw my mother. I remember thinking “you look a lot like you.” My father and I looked over at her, and she looked back at me. We all instantly burst into happy tears and then I was ripped from this slice of heaven per my 5:30 alarm.
The looked so beautiful. This version of her is the same one that little Easter Zachary thanked for his morning cereal and kissed goodbye before being scooted out the door to catch the school bus.
I can’t stand the idea that she died thinking I hated her.
The last words I said were “you really fucked up this time, Mom.” This was nine years ago. Once every few years she would send me a Facebook message telling me she loved me. I never replied because I never knew what to say.
Anything, you should have said anything.
I want her to be proud of me even though I haven’t accomplished much. I want her to compliment the patch I just finished and lazily sewed on to my work shorts. I want to tell her about my romantic interests and I want her to teach me how to cook chicken. I want more than anything to just see her face again, and to tell her that I’m sorry for never reaching out all those years. I want to tell her that she’s okay, and that she did the best she could and that’s all we can do. I want to meet her at a bar for drinks, or a restaurant or a park or a fucking sidewalk. I want to hear her voice. It’s been so long that I can’t even begin to remember what it sounds like. I want to watch her walk from the kitchen to her room as she remembers that she needs to grab her purse before she drives me to soccer practice. I want to hear that old couch creak as she sits down after a hard day of mothering four children.
It pains me that she died thinking I hated her.
I never hated her, I was just disappointed. I wish she was stronger, but we all do our best.
I never knew what to say, but anything would have been better than nine years of silence. I convinced myself that I had nothing to say, and now that I can’t say anything I just want to tell her about my day.
Tell me what to do, tell me anything. I am in the middle of a chronic identity crisis and I just want to hear your voice.