It might be when we’re driving down the road and we pass a bunch of wild sunflowers growing heartily on the side of the highway. I image they’ll exclaim “mommy look! Sunflowers.” I’ll smile and reply, “yes dear, those are your grandma Lizzie’s favorite.”
It might be when I’m up all night with a sick child, and I hear your voice in my head ‘try this’ ‘better not do that’ and ‘yes, they are definitely going to puke, grab the big bowl.’
I’ll tell them about you mom, I promise I will. I’ll tell them about the cute way you would crinkle your nostrils to wiggle your glasses that much higher on the bridge of your nose. We’ll laugh about the way you never could quite get those R’s to trill off your tongue, all thanks to a tricycle accident with those unforgiving stairs.
When I’m getting ready for that first baby, and scared to my wit’s end, I’ll think of you mom. I’ll listen for your words of advice to pop into my head, as they always seem to do just in the nick of time. I’ll think of you in heaven, holding my babies for me while I get ready to do the same. Helping to prepare those sweet, innocent spirits for a world that won’t deserve them. I’ll think of you mom, I promise, I will.
I’m sure I’ll have a daughter who likes to sew, and we’ll pull out your old sewing machine just for her. I’ll guide her hands along, just like you did mine, explaining that the needle will in fact bite you. We’ll talk about the time you found that lesson out, the painful way. I’ll patiently remind her not to take the easy way out, and to always match and pin the corners.
Maybe I’ll have a son that I won’t have absolutely any idea what to do with. Scratch that, when I have a son I will have absolutely no idea what to do with, I’ll see your smile in my mind and know you’re one of the few things left keeping my patience in check. I’ll listen to your words then, mom, I promise I will.
When the air goes crisp and fruit becomes ripe, we’ll talk about all the different things you used to can. I’ll stand in the kitchen, my kiddos in tow, stirring the endless amounts of jam and salsa. We’ll talk about the time we were canning salsa and I threw the biggest fit, swearing you were trying to kill me via the stench of boiled tomatoes. I’ll hear your words “Lindsey, you are going to be just fine. Just peel the skin off the tomatoes.” I’ll listen to you then mom, I promise I will.
Maybe it will be when a child of mine packs a bag and walks to the door exclaiming they are leaving for grandpa’s house. I’ll remember the time I did the very same thing, bound for Grandma Snyder’s. I’ll think of you then mom, as I lovingly take them in my arms, just like you did me, and hold them while we work out whatever fiasco caused the sudden eviction of their childhood room.
On summer nights when the weather is cool, I’ll rock them on my front porch swing and think of you, remembering the days we used to snuggle on your front porch too. We’ll talk about their lives and I’ll stroke their hair and listen, and I’ll think of you mom, I promise I will.
It might be in the way their eyes light up on that fateful November day they finally play Christmas music on the radio. I image my child exclaiming ‘oh mom, it’s finally playing’ and we’ll crank it up and sing our hearts out to ‘Mary Did You Know?’. I’ll tell them how you used to drive me to school and every morning we would anxiously check to see if they were finally playing Christmas music. I’ll think of you then mom and I’ll smile, I promise I will.
It’s bound to happen when I’m crocheting some afghan for one child or the other. I’ll explain the stitching multiple times, and patiently show them how it all comes together. I’ll watch their eyes focus in on the tangles of yarn, the wheels in their heads already turning. I’ll think of you then mom, I promise, I will.
You see you’ll always be my leading lady mom, and I’ll need you still. Your watchful gaze from your angel wings, your words of warning carried across the wind, the warm embrace that seems to come from invisible arms, just when I feel I can’t take another step. I’ve got a whole life ahead of me mom, one I think will be quite the adventure. When I see your smile, the twinkle in your eyes, and hear your sweet laugh as the memories fly by, I’ll think of you then. I’ll think of you then, mom, like I always do now. I’ll smile mom, I promise I will.