I expected packing up my mom’s things to stir up some emotions, but I wasn’t expecting to find myself in tears my first morning here when I opened the cupboard to get a tea bag and saw this.
There’s nothing special about this teapot, except that I gave it to her when I was a girl. I can’t remember where I got it or even how old I was, so it’s likely that my dad actually paid for it. What I do remember is that this teapot was a replacement for the old family teapot that had been handed down to her… and that I broke. Or maybe my dog Heidi broke it, jumping up and pulling on the tablecloth. I can’t remember. But seeing that teapot in the cupboard for some reason reduced me to tears.
And everywhere I look – in the computer desk, in the drawers of the Bible stand, an entire drawer of her big antique dresser – there are greeting cards. I swear she’s saved every birthday card, Christmas card or Mother’s Day card she was ever sent. In her nightstand were several years’ worth of Valentine’s Day cards from my dad. I wouldn’t have said that my father was ever a particularly romantic man. He certainly wasn’t given to outward expressions of emotion, either verbal or physical. But these cards, some of them downright mushy, tell a different story. “All my love, always,” he had signed one of them. My parents were married for 44 years and these cards were sent in the last decade of their time together. I remember they used to hold hands a lot when I was a little girl, but I hadn’t witnessed any such displays of affection in a very long time. It makes me glad to know that the love was still there, right up until he died.
I was blindsided by grief yesterday when I came across the announcement and program from my wedding tucked in between a couple of my mom’s books. So much hope there, so much love… and so short lived. We were madly in love until the day he died, but we had only six short years together and less than a year as husband and wife. Sometimes I envy my mom – 44 years and a family with the man she loved. I hope it’s not too late for me to find a love that will last into old age.