This year, there won't be a last-minute rush to get a Mother's Day card out for you, just like there hasn't been a rush for the last eight years. You did keep the cards your grandchildren sent you each year, I know, I found them. Sister's kids were much better at this card sending than my kids were, clearly a reflection on the clever Mom who got them to write.
This year, I probably won't cry either, or suddenly disappear right in front of my family's eyes, as a memory with volcanic force takes over. This is the ninth Mother's Day without you and my rising thoughts about us are much more complex these days, just like you said they would be.
This year, I have weeded out even more of your belongings, although there are some things of yours that still surround my days. I still use your bottle opener, and your tea towels, but I've worn out your whisk. The Paul Revere Ware pots have finally burned through. You did say you bought those post-WWII, didn't you? I replaced them with more copper-bottomed pots, just as you would like.
There are two oil paintings hanging in my house that also had a place of honor in yours, but the one with the swans now has a huge tear in it. You would hate that I've not had it repaired and that my eccentric elf doll with the big pointy ears now sits on the ornate gilt frame. Its lanky leg hangs down and covers that rip.
I like it that way.
The furniture that was passed down through the family to you, that now is passed down to me, is still polished with lemon oil, even if less often than it was when you stewarded these pieces...
...and I hate to say, but Middle Son's friend broke the green velvet chair from your room. It's sitting in the garage, waiting for me to fix, just like your pile of projects-to-do sat, the pile I took from your house and kept for six years, thinking I'd complete your task. A couple of years ago, I finally pawned it all off on....I mean, sold it all to....another wrought-iron-project fan, at a garage sale we had. You would have crowed at the price I got for that junk...
...that junk that had potential, I know.
The green velvet chair I will fix, and I will also replace the horsehair seat from it, the one with the dent of your rear-end-shape in it, for a seat of softer foam. I will eventually establish my own rear-end-shape on that chair when it has sat in my room for awhile. As you know, I did not inherit your shape, and I thank goodness for small blessings, speaking of rear-end shapes... although I would have loved to inherit your smaller shoulders and waist.
I still prefer your pearl earrings to mine, even though they are clip-ons. They match the pearl necklace Husband gave me on the one Mother's Day you witnessed between us. I still suspect that necklace was all show for you, as there has not been the slightest sign of jewels on any holiday ever since.
And yes, I can hear you retorting, "Your husband is a saint, you should be grateful for that man."
I am grateful, Mom, I am. I am grateful for all of my blessings, just like you taught me to be.
Lastly, I wore your garnet earrings to my goddaughter's wedding last summer. I never did see you wear them, I wonder why not? They are so stunning, if not a little old-fashioned. You would have liked how I pulled myself together that day with those earrings, my burgundy velvet sheath dress, a chenille shawl for the coastal fog. I even wore the mascara you kept telling me throughout my hippie years to put on 'to feel better'...and yes, I still roll my eyes at that 'feel better' part.
We never did gather together at your table for Mother's Day, we won't be at your table I have this year either. Oldest Son has inherited your gift for gathering people for meals, the dinner will be at his house. I've already been instructed not to be late, as I have inherited your penchant for the last-minute rush.
All in all, everything's the same this year as last, and on down the line--even the same as when you were here and we got together for Mother's Day by phone.
Yes, pretty much, everything's the same.
.....and no, nothing is the same.