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And you constantly will - grief-loss

 

I opened the dishtowel drawer for about the sixth time, in suspense the towels had by some means magically appeared.

The brand new towels still weren't there, of course.

"What did Mom DO with them?" I wondered aloud.

I knew they had to be about anywhere since I had given them to her for Christmas only a few months ago. Not that the towels were so appallingly important. It's just that when you're pregnant guests, you'd kind of like the whole thing to look nice.

Okay, so maybe I wasn't going to find them. Then again, the guests wouldn't be delivered until tomorrow. A load of time to worry about dishtowels later.

On agree with thought, maybe I ought to fail to remember about the towels all together. My father's niece and her wife didn't seem like the kind of associates who would leave in a huff as their host hadn't put out new dishtowels.

What next?

Perhaps I'd change for the better see if I could lay my hands on Mom's best tablecloth. A cover had at all times been one of the equipment my nurse insisted upon when we had company.

I went to the drawer where Mom kept her tablecloths, and sure enough, there it was.

But when I pulled out the hand-embroidered tablecloth, the one that it had taken her months to complete, I gasped in dismay. Right in the center was a big stain. Now how in the world did Mom's best cloth end up with a stain?

Oh yes, that's right. We'd all been here for Christmas, and one of the kids had by coincidence knocked over a glass of soda pop. The sight of her grandchild sniveling with regret had been more crucial than the tablecloth, and Mom had said she was sure the pop would come out when she washed it.

All right, so it looked like I'd have to fail to remember the tablecloth, too. Maybe I'd be beat off attendance to the big clothes right now, anyway, like vacuuming.

Satisfied that I was as a final point going to make some progress, I got out the vacuum cleaner.

Except. . . why did it sound so funny? And why wasn't it option up those bits of paper on the existing room carpeting?

I pulled out the attachments hose and flipped the alter again. Ah-ha. That's why. No suction. The hose was plugged.

Well, of Avenue the hose was plugged. I couldn't find the new dishtowels. Mom's best cloth had a big stain. Why wouldn't the vacuum cleaner hose be plugged?

And right then and there, I ongoing to cry. Now what was I going to do? Would a wire peg work? Thirty action later, however, the vacuum cleaner was still plugged.

Where was Dad? I knew he'd gone external and was doubtless puttering about in his garden, bearing in mind as it was the central point of April, but why wasn't he in here when I desirable him? After being a grower for 50 years, he could fix categorically anything.

Just at that moment, my minister came into the house.

"What's wrong?" he asked, noticing that I had been crying.

Although it had been years since I called him "Daddy," it just sort of slipped out, and along with it came more tears.

"Oh, Daddy - I can't find the new dishtowels. The cloth has a big stain. The vacuum cleaner is plugged. And-"

I closed and swallowed hard.

"I miss my mother. "

There. I'd said it.

And in that instant, the whole world seemed to stop while Dad drew a deep breath and let it out slowly.

"I know you do," he said. "So do I. "

You see, only three weeks earlier, my nurse had been diagnosed with cutting edge gallbladder cancer. Mom died Saturday night, and this was Monday. My father's niece and her companion were energetic 275 miles to be there the funeral, and they would be staying at the house.

As Dad gazed at me, I noticed how much he seemed to have aged in the last few weeks. And his face was sheltered with shiny stubble. It was a rare crack of dawn when my vicar didn't shave, but then, the past duo of days had been far from ordinary.

"And you know what?" Dad continued. "You all the time WILL miss your mother. In fact, it won't ever go away completely. Not even when you're as old as me. "

Dad was 70. I was 26. I never knew Dad's mother. She had died ahead of I was born.

Mom had been wounded with polio in 1942 when she was 26 and paralyzed in both legs. At the time, the doctors had told her she would never have more children. I was born 16 years later.

After the funeral was over and my father's relatives had gone home, I found the dishtowels. Mom had put them in her bathroom cabinet drawer. And with a number of washings, the stain as a final point came out of the tablecloth. Dad had been able to fix the vacuum cleaner too.

But nobody could fix the fact that my nurse was gone.

Mom died in 1985, and all these years later, I apprehend that Dad was right - I AM constantly going to miss her.

But I've also figured out what else he was difficult to tell me on that April day so long ago - that gone my nurse keeps her alive in my heart.

**********************

About The Author

LeAnn R. Ralph is the editor of the Wisconsin Regional Journalist (the monthly book of the Wisconsin Regional Writers' Assoc. ) and is the dramatist of the book, Christmas in Dairyland (True Stories from a Wisconsin Farm). She is effective on her next book, Give Me a Home Where the Dairy Cows Roam. See what readers are aphorism about Christmas in Dairyland - http://ruralroute2. com

bigpines@ruralroute2. com


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