Wednesday, April 8, 2009

penmanship

I miss my mom today.

Not a crying-in-bed unable-to-move hurts-unbearably kind of missing.

Just a sigh-here, memory-there, wishing-she-were-here, contemplative kind of missing.

Flowers make my mother think of her mother. Me, too--mostly with peach roses. (We had a few conversations about those.)

And while flowers are beautiful and smell good, they're not necessarily what call my mother to my mind.

Pens. Pilot pens.

While grocery shopping the other day, I realized I had no pen with which to cross off the items on my list. I decided to buy some. (My list was huge.) I picked up a package of Pilot pens and stared at it for a while, just standing there in the aisle with a weird half-smile on my face. Because Pilot pens--those good quality writing utensils--make me think of my mom.

I'm not sure that at the moment I have enough words in me to describe some of the things I love best about my mom. That would be an awfully long post, which might find me crying at the end, the ache for my mother grown sharper. And I think she might have switched to Uni-Ball pens.

But I remember watching her sit at the table, our big kitchen table equipped to seat nine, and I would marvel at her beautiful handwriting and consistent effort. She was earning her degree from BYU through independent study; working around the priority of family, fitting her tasks into the little chinks in our schedule. (Little, little chinks....) It took her ten years--along with a very patient husband and hopefully half-as-patient children--and now she's going to Harvard in the summer. (Really! She is! That's the great part--it's true.)

They'll be in Boston. Not so far away in Japan anymore!

I marvel at my mother--her intelligence and love of learning and boundless talent for teaching. I hear her sometimes in my voice when I say to my children, "Well, let's look that up, because I don't know the answer." And then it's as if she's right there at the table next to me.

Although sometimes it just takes a pen.

6 comments:

Abby Hanson said...

I miss mom too! Especially with a new baby in the house and knowing how much she would love to be here. :) But I am SO glad they'll be state-side finally!

MAG said...

That was so beautiful, Rae. What a sweet post about your mom. She sounds just wonderful!

I miss my mom, too, and I'm a little jealous that your parents will be state-side soon! That's so wonderful!

Did you ever go visit them while they were in Japan?

Waynsh said...

Rachel.. you made me miss my Mom, and she lives 5 minutes away. You need to be a journalist.. your an amazing writer..

Kate said...

What a beautiful post. I also miss my mom all the time. I really liked this, I hope you get to see her soon.

Bridget said...

Aw! What a sweet post. I get the same feelings about my mom when I see orange tic-tacs. Haha. I'm also getting that achey feeling cause I am about to be so far away from her : ( Mike's leaving on April 22nd and I'm going after my sister's wedding at the end of May. How often do you talk to you mom? Do you buy phone cards?

Qait said...

Exactly why I now use Pilot and Uni-ball pens for my journal (exclusively).
Small things like that make me miss her, too.
I always, always wish she could witness every moment of Ender.