Sunday, May 11, 2008

Time in a Bottle

I have a Mother's Day gift from my daughter sitting on top of the wooden chest here in the living room. Because she likes to watch people open gifts that she gives them, I'm waiting until she gets up to open it. Dear Hubby called his mom to wish her a "Happy Mother's Day" today and she wished him "Happy Birthday". Only problem is, his birthday isn't until next weekend! We'd dropped off a Mother's Day gift for her last weekend and it must've thrown her off, haha!

I was just reading Suburbia's blog and she'd written about a dream her husband had a few nites ago, about trimming his moustache and finding something like bunny fluff growing underneath it? Recently Dear Hubby's work shift has flip-flopped from 3 am to 6 am to 4 am and back to 3 am so the man doesn't know which end is up. As little Chloe dog and I were coming in to bed on Thursday evening -- one of Dear Hubby's 3 am shift nites -- I was surprised to see him lying there looking wide awake as I put Chloe down on the bed. "What am I doing here?" he asked me. That stopped me in my tracks. "Well, supposedly sleeping!" I told him. "Really?" he asked. "Isn't it morning?" I guess because the last bit of twilight still illuminated the living room behind me, he thought he'd overslept. "No," I told him. "It's nighttime." Besides, when he works the 3 am shift he's up at 12:30. In fact, I can't remember the last time he's awakened on a work day after sunrise. Poor confused man! When we were first married we worked different shifts for a while, him on days and me on swing shift, and I remember climbing into bed in the middle of the nite, just settling down beside him, when he rolled over towards me, propped his head on his hand, smiled, and asked me, "Can I park my canoe here?" We didn't own a canoe. We didn't even own a boat. Oh well.

I no longer have my mother here on earth. She died 19 years ago just a week or two before Mother's Day. That first one without her, Dear Hubby and our two kids and I went to the beach for the weekend. There wasn't anywhere my mom loved more than the beach. Next to "our hill" in central Oregon, there isn't anywhere I love more, either. When Dear Hubby suggested we go there, I jumped at the chance. I didn't want to sit thru the Mother's Day tribute at church and all the hymns about mothers sung. I didn't want to go to the get together Dear Hubby's family had for his mother, and I hoped my mom-in-law understood why. I was grieving too deeply at that point. So we went to the beach and on one of the afternoons when we'd taken the kids down to play in the sand and surf, I broke away for awhile and began wandering up the shore line by myself. No one followed, no one clambered for my attention. And as I strolled along the surf's edge I noticed a bed of agates and rocks that had been exposed as the tide went out. I found myself bending over at the waist, picking up this rock and that one, holding it up to the sun to see if it had any agate in it. Pocketing the ones that did, tossing those that didn't back onto the sand. And in that moment I realized how much I was my mother's daughter. When I think of my mom, even now, one of the first visual memories that comes to me is my mom off in the distance near the surf, bent over and off in her own little world, searching for agates. When I got home, I took all the agates I gathered and put them in an empty jar. It was my memorial to her. And several years later, on a hunting trip to central Oregon, my Dear Hubby found a beautiful old lilac-colored glass bottle half-buried in the sandy dirt there that he brought home to me. I transferred all those agates into that little jar. I have it in my dining room. And every time I'm sitting at my desk and I look at it, I see my mother.


Suburbia said...

That's a lovely story about remembering your mum.
Thanks for linking me.
I have to say that over here 'can I park my cannoe here' would be considered a euphamism for 'are you up for it love?' or 'Do you fancy a quicky?' or such like!! ;)

scargosun said...

That is such a nice story about your Mom. My DH just snores. No odd speaking. I am not sure which I would prefer. ;)

verabear said...

Happy mother's day Kris! :)