Been thinking of you a bunch as of late. Little things at first, a song while I’m flipping through my XM stations that takes me back to being seven years old, sitting next to you in the car, seatbelt scratching my cheek as I sit on the hard rubber seat, trying to avoid the scary and jagged tear and exposed yellowing stuffing, my heart swelling when your voice would lift, grow louder, mouth wide and belting out the words, the weight of your world easing just enough to let your body sway and voice fill the inside of our VW, “Even though we aint got money, I’m so in love with ya honey, everything will bring a chain of love. And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be alright” my eyes closing and head resting against the seat back as I took in your sheer elation in being lost in a voice, music and lyrics that spoke to you. Heard that Kenny Loggins song yesterday on my way into work…
“People smile and tell me I’m the lucky one” as the song began I waited for that feeling, the one I’ve always gotten when it came on. That strange combination of reunion and anxiety, joy and sadness but yesterday the feeling that landed in the pit of my stomach was that of seeing a long lost friend. No sadness, no fear, no worry. The memory of you freely belting your heart out and of me snuggling into it. Sounds like a silly thing I know but it touched me in a way that actually did “Bring a tear of joy to my eye” and assured me that in fact everything “Is gonna be alright”. I’m not a believer in “visits” or signs from loved ones passed but, well I felt your presence in some odd way and this time there was an unconcerned comfort in thinking about and visiting with you, that I don’t think I’ve ever felt before.
I wondered if you would be speaking to me yet. You know, after the rather unflattering series of posts I wrote about our relationship a couple of years ago. Suspecting that you would be, although the words I freed upon my screen would have put an even further distance between us. Your hurt, in the face of my exposition of your frailty, rage, sometime lunacy, leaving a gap of distrust that I think we would still be trying to hurdle. As the song ended and the light turned green, I pressed my foot to the gas, the wind coming through my open window flipping my hair across my lips I found myself smiling and kind of okay with that. Almost as if I needed to clear out all that old garbage, dump it all out on the lawn where everyone could see it, to make room to actually see all the sweet, loving, cherished moments we had together. Mom, I hope you too are okay with that.
My drive to work became a Ferris wheel ride. My hair, memories and heart flowing, the radio still playing I heard nothing but, “Sam! Are you going to stay in that water all day?!” and, “How’s my little mouse?” your voice and laughter filling the interior of my car. The hours I spent cross legged in front of you as you applied my makeup, waiting in the car as you cashed a check at the corner liquor store, a check we both knew was going to bounce, so you could take me out to a Prime Rib dinner. The way you held Jeremy, his tiny body safely tucked and cradled in your arms as you read, the way you would laugh when he would rub the soft flubbery skin under your chin. The unmistakable gaze of a woman truly in love that you had whenever he was near you. I may have envied that look at one time but yesterday, yesterday it made me proud that I was able to give you something back. Through the heart of that tiny young man and the chain of love that made everything alright. And just so you know, he still has your high school photo, the one we had blown up for the funeral, he asked for that and it is still hanging above his bed here at home and although he is rarely in that room anymore, when he does come home to visit and drops his bags off in the room where he grew up, he lets his gaze fall upon you. He was young when you left us but I promise you, he has never forgotten how much you loved him. Never.
May is always hard for me Mom. Your birthday, Mother’s Day, the last time I saw you, the day I got the call….and arrived too late to say goodbye. The anniversary of those dates hanging in the middle of the month, waiting for me. Maybe it was you that made that song come on the radio, sending me the gift of Kenny’s voice and the words that soothed you all those years ago….
“People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one, and we've just begun,
Think I'm gonna have a son.
He will be like she and me, as free as a dove, conceived in love,
Sun is gonna shine above
And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with ya honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes,
And tell me everything is gonna be alright”
I miss you
We all do