I thought of my Mom a lot on my birthday last weekend. I miss her carrot cake with cream cheese icing. I miss the chance, no matter how childish, to lick the beaters. I miss chatting with her over a glass of wine or summer fresh mojjito. I miss her in the lounge chair on her back deck, her skin the golden brown of a woman who gardens and walks and faces into the sun.

The Weight of Her Absence – Acrylic heavy body and ink on canvas – I painted this a year or so ago to represent how hard it is to have her gone from our small family and how heavily it weighs at times.

I miss all of her, even the bits that drove me crazy. She tucked her cotton tops into her elastic waisted pants and had a penchant for head to toe lime green. She used silly expressions like, “wrong-o sleigh bell lover” or “close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades  (this usually pertained to curling)”.

I miss the warmth of her hugs and how freely she dispensed them. I miss our creative mash-ups. I miss watching the Gilmore Girls with her and so wish we could watch the new reunion season together.

I miss playing cards together at any campsite picnic table by the blazing lamplight. I miss trash talking and teasing and laughing until we cried. 

I miss her scent. Nothing heady or easily pinpointed. Cacao butter, mango, dryer sheets, pert shampoo, and, occasionally, a hint of apple blossom perfume. I tried to seal her scent into zip lock bags when I cleaned out her closet. Carefully folding a few t-shirts into a couple different bags and storing them safely in my top dresser drawer. Trouble is the scent dissipated…just like her. I can’t bring myself to let those bags go yet just in case, hiding somewhere deep inside, there’s just one more glorious whiff.

I know I can’t have her back but I still wished for her just the same when I blew out the candles.

K

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