I wake up, following the same routine I’ve been doing since my daughter started school. Get up. Get her up. Get coffee. Get lunches packed and by the door. Get her fed and ready for school. I kiss my husband goodbye and remind him once again to drive carefully.
But something is different, even after all these basics have been covered. I have an urge to write my grandmother a long letter, even though she passed away nearly 12 years ago.
What would I tell her? I’d tell her being a mom is way better than I imagined it to be. I’d tell her I like sushi and imagine her lips scrunching up. I’d tell her I’ve been published in a couple of newspapers out on the Prairies. I’d tell her I tried to photocopy my first paycheque they sent me, so I could have it framed to hang in my office.
I’d like to tell her about the improvements my cooking has made over the years. I’d tell her I now know you shouldn’t try to cook a whole chicken in a Crock-Pot. The temperature doesn’t get high enough to cook it all the way through. Food poisoning is a nasty lesson to learn. I’m sure she’d cluck her tongue and shake her head, smiling. I imagine how she’d tell me again, “We all got to learn somehow.”
I remember her best as she busied herself making homemade noodles. She would hang long, thin strips of pasta from the backs of chairs and across the kitchen table and over anything that she could drape them from. The aroma of fresh pasta and baked bread is something you never forget.
I find myself struggling to recapture her words of wisdom over the distracting noise of the dishwasher and the steady hum of the dryer and the sloshing of the washing machine.
I stare at the image on my coffee mug — a scene of snow-covered grounds, with evergreens and bare sugar maple trees. It reminds me of another time and place.
That’s where my grandma is. In another time and place. I realize, I too have reached a different time and place in my life.
Over the past 12 years, I’ve experienced the pleasures of success and for the most part, enjoyed the “try and fail” trail I’ve made. It’s the path that leads me to where I am now.
I’d like to tell Grandma that I’ve collected friends along the way who’ve offered me points of view and unique experiences. I’d tell her that I’ve made a family even when it seemed like the odds were against me. I’ve proven to many and especially to myself that I can, and continue to do, so much more.
“Take nothing for granted because everything; good, bad or otherwise is subject to change,” Grandma would say.
So, tomorrow I’ll gladly get up and get my family ready and out the door. I’ll face the challenges of a new day and I’ll continue to carry on, until we meet once again, in another time and place.
Theresa Moleski writes from Delta, B. C.