A Gift on Mother's Day
In the softness of Spring
I enjoy watching you walk barefoot over the lawn in your casual slacks and short sleeved shirt. Stopping momentarily under the large oak tree, where the snowdrops are now in their second stage of bloom. I can see that you enjoyed the soft gentle aroma that exuded from tight white buds. The yellow flowering heads of the daffodil, and primulas peeping from under the growing black thorn bushes that surround the garden. Bright pink ringlets hang by a thread from the red current bushes that are almost in tune, gently swaying in the spring time breeze. I want to fetch you a hat as your face begins to colour from being exposed to the sun light. Yet, there is an ethereal beauty about you today, a calmness that I haven’t noticed for some time. As you move from child to adult, your disposition in tune with each one, I count my blessings that I have you in my life.
“Why don’t you play some lazy jazz, ..... or maybe some beautiful blues for us. I will fetch your saxophone hunnie?” You turn and smile, and again I notice the sorrow in your eyes. You quietly nod your head and roll into the hammock secured between the two tall ash trees near the garden gates. Our grandson lies peacefully between your legs and you gently hum a lullaby to send him to sleep. I can see that you are getting older. The jet black hair now dotted with grey, but you are still the most handsome man that I have ever seen.
“Leave the music for a little while darling, I will play when we have eaten. Come let me kiss those gentle lips that I savour like a rich port on a cold winters evening.” I gently laugh and I never could resist your smile. I bend my head to gently meet your lips, but you feel cold.
“Shall I fetch you a blanket?” I touch your arm and can feel the goose bumps on your flesh. You turn your head and smile, “stop worrying, I am fine”.
The children are laughing now, as my son in law is the one to seek and find in this game of tag. I can see the black scarf gently tied around his eyes, as he walks gingerly forwards swinging his arms from side to side.
“Fe fo fi FUM, I smell the blood of an Englishman,” he laughs when he hears the children squeal with fright. They dash in and out of the flower beds, each one of them taking it in turns to poke John as he continues to play the game. It is Nancy that is caught first, and I laugh as I hear her squeal with glee, as her daddy takes her in his arms and twirls her around and around.
I gaze in your direction to see if you have noticed that the bar -be -que coals are now at the temperature to start cooking, but your head is turned and I know you are sleeping. I place the chicken and ribs on the tray above the coals, and jump backwards, a little startled as the hissing noise from the meat suddenly sounds so loud.
I look for you to come and pour the wine, looking forward to hearing you recite the history of the grape as you always do, but still you are quiet.
I won’t disturb you, you have been immersed in your life just recently, and for some reason unknown to me, I cannot get close. All I can do is remember, and hope for close times again.
“Mum, you go and sit down and relax, today is your day. It is Mother’s Day; I will take care of the food.” I reach up and kiss John’s cheek grateful for his offer. He squeezes my hand as I turn away to sit on the lounger on the patio.
I am reading a book by my favourite author, Christina Jones. She writes with such humour, and being a Lancashire Lass, just like me, she writes with a terminology so familiar, and yet, now lost to me.
I can feel the chill in the air now and wonder if I should fetch a cardigan for myself. I glance in your direction knowing that you will be smiling at me now, but you are not there. As panic takes hold and twists my heart until I scream, I notice my book is on the floor. Tears spill over my eye lashes, gently at first and then with such a rush of emotion as to resemble water falling from the top of a waterfall. I had been dreaming.
“I miss you, oh my God, how I miss you.” My shoulders are full of tension and the arms I feel holding me securely from side to side, are my own. In the depth of my sorrow I felt joy, but all I feel now is pain and loneliness. Were you ever real; why did you have to go away?”