Pin It An artist paints with colors. A photographer captures images with light. A writer portrays thoughts to form with words which he feels and sees.
I sit alone in Mom’s room.
I keep waiting for the feeling; waiting to feel her ghost—her spirit.
As I look into the vacant space where her bed used to lay, I feel the emptiness which has taken its place. It is this same void which fills me, this type of nullity which has been left behind that nobody else can understand—at least so it would strike as being.
My dad and I canvassed the room earlier today for mom’s framed pieces, tucked away in shadowed corners, several of which she created—cross-stitchings which she fashioned long ago during cozy nights with the aroma of scented candles burning in mixtures of amber and vanilla. As I gazed at these works wrought at her hands I felt that a piece of her yet remained, though her essence had gone; fled away to some far-away and distant place where the rest of us could not follow.
The sunlight dances on the other side of the window as my eyes fall on one of the stitcheries Mom made years before; its words burn themselves into my retina like an after-image of staring at the sun:
As I read over this quote I think of Mom’s crimson nails, filed and painted to perfection—a simple yet sublime act of love.
I remember sitting at the table.
It was a difficult time yet again; Mom’s breathing came in belabored gasps and haphazard moments of coherentness. My two younger sisters and brother-in-law had come to help; we were all taking shifts with sitting with Mom. This was good as it was keeping anyone from getting completely burned out.
I remember being slumped at the dining room table, resting my head on one arm when my dad made the pronouncement; he was going to have Mom’s manicurist come out to the house.
He fumbled with his phone and dialed the number. He spoke with the woman on the other end and set up the paltry details. He wanted the works—and price was no option.
Only the best.
I remember at first wondering what he was doing. Just why was he going to do this? Mom was in such a sick and weakened condition, what difference would this really make?
I had no idea.
The manicurist arrived. When Mom was told she was to have her nails done, her frail fingers outstretched—it was a sight to bring tears to one’s eyes. The job—no small one to be sure—took in the zone of 4 ½ hours to complete.
My dad had arranged this out of pure, simple love.
Mom knew. It completely exhausted her. She couldn’t speak, but she knew.
For the next several days, every time I saw Mom’s fingers or her carefully-painted toes, I found myself smiling. This was not merely a manicure and pedicure; this was an act of adoration of a man for the woman he treasured—the woman he knew delighted in this—the woman who was slowly ebbing away. He was giving her something which she couldn’t do for herself, something she loved; something which made her feel beautiful and appreciated.
The sunlight shifts and I find myself back in my Mom’s empty room. Though I find tears aplenty as I sit here alone, I discover that the room is no longer empty; it is filled with lessons, lessons of the heart and memories of love.
It is true…time truly cannot erase the memories which are created by love.