I remember the first time I met her. I had a fever. The house was silent. She put wool blankets over the windows to keep out the light. My eyes hurt.
I remember feeling loved and safe and protected. She gently put my hair behind my ear and caressed my face as she sang to me. I remember her gentle touch on my skin.
Her hair was black. Not from a bottle. She let me brush it. I can remember the deep rich texture of her hair. If I close my eyes I am six again and I am living in the same house she lives in. She is sitting in a chair with her back to me. I am standing behind her brushing her long, dark, hair. Again and again.
I saw this woman every morning when I lived in the same house as she did. She made me oatmeal for breakfast. I shaped the oatmeal into a mountain in my bowl. The brown sugar ran down the sides of the outmeal like a volcano erupting.
She ground her own grain and made bread for sandwiches for my school lunches. She let me eat the heel of the loaf when it came out of the oven.
Every Sunday night I could hear this woman making popcorn in the Revere Ware pot as I had my bath in the green tub. I sat beside her on the chesterfield, ate buttered popcorn and watched Ed Sullivan.
This morning I won’t see this woman. She will sit at her kitchen table with two chairs. One chair is empty. Her husband died last month. I will sit at my kitchen table with five chairs. Each chair will be sat in. My husband and three children will sit with me as I eat my hard boiled egg.
The last time I saw this woman was three years ago. She lives in another country, a five-day drive from me. Her hair is not black now. Her hair is grey.
I don’t see this woman every day. But, every day I think of her and pray for her. Every day before I go to bed I send her an e-mail to tell her I love her.
Last night I sent her a message so she could read it when she woke up this morning.
Happy Birthday Mom.
I love you.
I don’t know what it is about food your mother makes for you, especially when it’s something that anyone can make – pancakes, meat loaf, tuna salad – but it carries a certain taste of memory.
― Mitch Albom
What is your first memory of your mother?
Please tell me in the comments. I would love to meet your mother.