Reflections

Visiting my mother

Eleanor Deckert

Quick, before the snow flies! I am making a trip to visit my mother.

Phone calls and emails aren't enough. I gotta have the food, hugs, cozy at home time and outings with her, too.

There is room for my car in her garage. There is a hand-stitched quilt on my bed. There is food I especially like in the fridge. There are pictures on the walls: paintings and drawings that my artistic brothers gave her 40 years ago. There are recent family photos tucked on the fridge, on the mirror, on her desk. There is a little doll I made nestled against a flowerpot my sister gave her. There is a framed Scripture quote of special significance to our family. My husband made the box she keeps her needles and threads in. There is a huge collage on one wall of her grandchildren in various ages and celebrations. Wherever I look there are so many physical connections to the people she loves: our family.

We go on outings together. Early morning prayer at the church. Walking briskly to get the day started. A trip to the fabric store. Snooping around the Christian bookstore. Pop into the grocery store for a few things. Out for lunch. On the way home we drive slowly past quaint cottages and dream about being neighbours some day?

We both have quilting projects on the go. The kitchen table has the rotary blade and mat. The ironing board is set up. Nobody cares about the threads and scraps on the floor. She is hand stitching a bed spread for her bed. I brought wool and silk. I hope to start a Crazy Quilt with rich textures and colours and embroidery stitches.

She reads aloud. Her voice is like vitamins to my ears. She plays the piano. My brain knows every note. No recording of the same composition is as good as the way my mother interprets the music.

She has supper on the go. Nothing tastes as good as my mother's cooking.

I spend some quiet time in my room. She doesn't know it. I am writing her letters. I won't travel over the mountains, through the snow, across the border during the coming winter months. I am writing letters dated for upcoming birthdays, Christmas, New Year's Day, Valentines... all love letters to my mother. Thanks – memories – traditions - admiration. She can open them one by one. I know it is sentimental. But, it is also true. What I have given to my children, I first received from my mother. It is time to put "Thank You" down on paper.

I want to hold on tightly. I fear the day I will not hear her voice, see her face, hold her in a hug. No one knows the day when the scissors snip and the thread of life is cut.

On Sunday we will go to church together. We will say the words, sing the songs, hear the preaching, recite the creed, whisper the prayers. All of them will remind me, we might be parted for a while, but we will be reunited, too.

Honouring the past. Treasuring the present. Hoping for the future.

I love to visit my mother.