That same calendar now hangs in my hallway. I find a surprising comfort when my fingers grasp those same knobs. Every day when I stop to move the day ahead, I think about the thousands of times my mom must have touched that same wood. She turned it without giving it much thought, I am sure. It was just part of her daily routine. Now, it is a part of my daily routine that keeps me connected to her.
It's funny the objects that take on special significance once a loved one is gone. Who would have thought that old calendar, which I never gave much thought to in all the years I was growing up, would provide me with comfort and connection? Of course, growing up, I never could have conceived of the notion that one day my mother would not be here to adjust the calendar herself.
Before the whole world went dark and insisted we put our lives on hold, my family and I had begun the process of cleaning out my mother's house, getting it ready to sell. As we sifted through her things, I was surprised by the things that meant the most to me. While others roamed the house, laying claim to valuable antiques, it was the little things that my heart cried out for.
Like the old, big-bellied pitcher. I couldn't look at that and not see my mother in the kitchen making big batches of iced tea in the summer. Which in turn brought on memories of Dad barbecuing hamburgers or chicken with his special seasoning. (Oh my, what I wouldn't give for a piece of Dad's barbecue chicken!) Then that leads to Mom's potato salad. Those memories all take me back to a simpler time when the world still seemed to make sense and happiness was being gathered around the dinner table together and believing life would always be that way.
Or like the necklace I had completely forgotten about until I spotted it in her jewelry box. A wave of memory instantly washed through me, as I recalled seeing that necklace around her neck lying against her sweater. In my memory, I see it close up, as if I am being held in my mother's arms and all I have to do is reach my hand slightly forward to grasp it. No one else wanted it, much to my delight. Now, on days when I am feeling a little lost and uncertain, I slip it around my neck and feel a small measure of comfort, as though I am a little girl being held in her mother's arms once again.
And like, of course, the calendar. The calendar that reminds me of days gone by as it continues to mark the passage of time.