I woke up on this Easter morning thinking of my mother and the Easters of my youth. I could see the large straw basket with its bands of faded yellow, red, and green, the fluffy plastic grass, and the wonderful contents; always some of the eggs we had carefully colored with food coloring in coffee cups, speckled candy eggs, chocolates, and a big chocolate Easter bunny. Mom didn’t have two nickels to rub together, but she always managed to fill that basket year after year- and make sure that I had a new dress for Sunday School. Every single holiday that came around, Mom always found a way to make it special. I can only hope that if I’d had children that I would have been half as fun and creative a mom as she was to me.
After a wonderful Easter meal with our dear friends Wayne and John (John Wayne), I went home and got right back to work on the front hill pulling weeds, doing my best to have everything perfect before my surgery Tuesday (I know- I am mental). I feel the precious hours slipping away with all I had hoped to accomplish before I am out of commission for a while. I climbed out onto the steep hill with my lawn bag and picked up where I’d left off with pulling weeds and vines.
I love ‘yard therapy’, and it seems to be one of the only ways lately that I can focus and calm my racing mind. Still, I felt anxious about the surgery and homesick for my mother. Getting into my meditative zone, I pulled weed after weed, thinking about so many things. I saw something in the Alabama clay and picked it up, immediately tearing up and getting goosebumps.
You see, that simple white button was a hello from Heaven, a hello from my mother. She was crazy for buttons, collecting jar after jar of them, and on her last fall, hundreds of buttons flew everywhere when her walker tipped over. After she died, I scoured her apartment until it was pristine, and then came into her bedroom to find a solitary clear white button on the floor right where had fallen. Since then, I have found that same sort of button in different places, always a surprise, always when I needed it most, needed to feel my mother close to me.
I scrubbed the button down- it will be coming with me to the hospital onTuesday. A special talisman, like the first button that is pinned inside my clarinet case, and the one that mysteriously appeared in my car on the floorboard beneath my clarinet case as I drove to school. A reminder that my mother is with me, that she will be with me during surgery, too. Such a comforting feeling.
I have one day left in my quest of Better Homes and Gardens at Chez Gainey. I’m going to do some house cleaning, but I’m also going to take the advice of dear friends, getting a facial and a massage in the morning. I’ve got to let go, quit obsessing about the house and yard (and the dogs, school, etc.). I’m trying to go into myself some and relax, prepare myself mentally and physically for what I will face on Tuesday. Mom always said I run around like my hair’s on fire…it’s time for a balance check, time to slow down for once. How special to get the reminder that I won’t be going through things by myself- along with Sweet Dan,-my very own milkshake-swigging angel will be there to look after me. I’m in good hands.