With Us in Spirit

With Us in Spirit

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Tribute to Moms

With Us in Spirit

I stopped at a Hallmark shop the other day to buy Mother’s Day cards for my daughter and daughter-in-law. The card aisle was a long one; there were Mother’s Day cards appropriate to send to everyone, from your cleaning lady to your best friend. The colors were soft and spring-like, fitting for the month of May. I moved up and down the aisle looking for cards that worked for Karen and Amy, and suddenly, without any warning, an ache started deep inside. It swelled and moved upward, hit my heart, and pushed a tear from my eye.

My hand reached out to a card that I knew she’d love. It was lavender and purple, her favorite colors. I read the verse and smiled. This was the one I’d buy her if I could only send it to her. I slipped it back in the rack, but picked it up and read it again, then replaced it. I really wanted to buy it for her, but she had passed away more than two years ago. I could buy the card, write a special note, sign it with love, then seal and stamp it, but where would I send it? Heaven had no post office. A curtain of sadness dropped down and covered me like a shroud.

I’m a mother and a grandmother of four, but I still miss my mom. I miss our long talks. She had little formal education, but she possessed a marvelous instinct and insight into human behavior. I learned so much listening to her observations. I miss the stories she told about her childhood in a coal-mining town. She made me appreciate the differences in people’s lives. I miss the wonderful pies and cakes she made. I miss her terrific sense of humor and hearty laughter. I miss her hugs.

But when I look around my home, I see her in many places. I see her warm smile in photos carefully arranged in several different rooms. I see her every time I sift through my recipe box and finger the many cards with her handwriting, all so precious now. I see her when I use my rolling pin, once hers, now mine. Whenever I use it, I am reminded of the day she taught me how to put just the right amount of pressure on a pie crust. I see her when I show visitors to our guest room, for the bed is covered with a quilt she had made by hand.

On Mother’s Day, I will be with my daughter and her family at a Mother’s Day brunch. To spend the day with a child I love and her husband and children will give me great pleasure. It wouldn’t surprise me if we sense another presence that day, for my mother will be with us in spirit, spreading her love once more.

Nancy Julien Kopp

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