Thursday, April 3, 2014
The person who will be managing the renting of my mother's house did a good job on the refurbishing, though it was strange to walk into this clean new palette devoid of any of my mother's personal effects. Zilch. Nada. All of it removed. Funny the things I miss. Her shampoos and lotions sitting in the bathroom which we would use without thinking. The family photographs arrayed on every surface. The old red recliner I liked to sit in and read. The piles of magazines and Daily Word devotionals and mail from abroad on her bedside table. The plaque that my father received upon his retirement, above a portrait of him unsmiling in straw wig and full jurist regalia. The photo albums, two dozen of them, stashed on a low shelf in the TV room. My niece and I would lie head to head on the floor and turn the pages of those albums every time we visited. It was our ritual. Of course, it is my mother I miss in all of it, sitting at the table on the back porch doing her bills, writing in her diary, making phone calls and holding court for a steady stream of guests. For some reason the property manager and her stylist left the back porch bare. Just a round white table in the center of a lake of white tiles, catching stripes of daylight slanting under the crisp new awning, gossamer curtains drifting languidly at the doors, a veil between yesterday and tomorrow, the sunlit emptiness beyond.