Before I took Mom’s ashes to the waterfall on the Nantahala River in North Carolina as I promised her I would do, I put a small amount of her remains into a little, sparkly box (I thought she’d like that) and sent it to my sister, Linda, in Maine. Linda loves silver jewelry- she and Mom had always shared a love of jewelry in general- and had met a woman wearing a beautiful puffed silver heart necklace in line at the store. When Linda complimented the woman on her necklace, the woman told her that it held the ashes of her mother, and her mother had told her that she wanted her daughter to take her shopping when she was gone. My sister said she felt a jolt, feeling like this was a message from Mom. Nobody loved going shopping more than Heavy D, and she’d often tell Linda that she wished they could go shopping together. Linda knew what she needed to do…she ordered a silver urn pendant and had a new shopping buddy. Pure silver, nonetheless- Heavy D was ready to hit the road in style.
Mom and I used to go to TJ Maxx, which she loved. Whenever I go there now (which is not often, because I mostly shop on-line), I can still see Mom sitting in her wheelchair or on her walker when I go to the clearance aisle, picking up items and exclaiming over them. The one place she wanted to go, but I did not take her was Walmart. I just won’t shop there (philosophical differences- to each, his own), but that didn’t stop her from asking, especially when she would receive a gift card from someone. The Home for Wayward Seniors had a van that took residents to Walmart every Wednesday, but Mom was afraid to go because of her mobility issues- and she was afraid they’d leave her there. She always had to worry about something….and I’m just like her.
Linda talks to Mom, especially now that she has the pendant. I told her she was like Get Smart talking into his shoe phone. Then we started laughing, saying, “Breaker, breaker! Come in…Mom?” Mom was all about being silly and finding the humor in situations, and her girls follow suit. Linda told me that when she went into the dressing room to try on a pair of pants, and she said, “No cracks, Mom!” and then started laughing thinking about what people would think hearing her talking in the dressing room by herself….and then she laughed harder wondering about their reaction when they heard her laughing in the dressing room by herself. We both cracked up knowing how much Mom would love that….and how she would giggle. We Williams gals never worry too much about people laughing at us for being goofy- we figure we come by it naturally, and we have a heck of a good time along the way.
Now I smile whenever I get a message from my sister, “I took Mom to Walmart today!”, “Mom and I went to Bangor today to some antique stores!” I love thinking about Mom going shopping with Linda, and Linda being comforted from feeling Mom close and being able to talk to her. Call us crazy, but we loved our mom with all our hearts, and her absence has left a big hole. Mom and Linda talked for hours every single day, and those calls meant the world to Mom…and to Linda, too. I have my own rituals…each morning as I get ready for the day, I kiss my index finger and place it on Mom’s lips on the beautiful painting that my friend Holly did of us, and I say, “Love you, Momma”. Linda and I feel Mom with us and always will…and I have no doubt that Heavy D is loving keeping the road hot as a shopping diva once again.