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  • Writer's pictureMartha J Allard

One more about mom

This morning, early, I had the best dream. I was at my mom’s house, and she was there too. She had a bunch of stuff for me to take home with me that she’d found packed away that I’d left behind. It was all laid out on her dining room table. Everything in the house was just the way it used to be. Her dining room with all its burgundy and pink, the stained-glass birds that dad made stuck up in the picture window, which looked out on the side garden. She let the purple coneflower take over and edge most everything else out—except the black-eyed susans. In summer, the whole plot was full of bobbing blossoms and bees buzzing. And butterflies. There were black ones and monarchs too depending on the time of summer.

My memory filled the setting in, but I didn't pay much attention to that. I was looking at my mom, how happy she was, and funny. I was feeling how great it was to be with her. Get all that crap in your car, she said, I don’t care if you don’t take it home, just don’t leave it here. Let’s go to lunch.

The dream was like a gift. In fact, when I woke up, I reached for my phone to call her. But then I thought about masks. I thought; I’ve helped to make so many masks, but I didn’t make any for her, or dad. What the hell is wrong with me?

The knot in my stomach was the real world pushing its way in. I was a terrible person. What if mom got sick? And then the sense that my parents were still here collapsed like a soap bubble.

Almost every day, I miss my mom, and this year more than ever I find myself simultaneously wishing that my mom was here and being glad that she doesn’t have to live through it.

This afternoon I spread purple coneflower around the side of my house. I hope they spread and take over. I hope she knows they're for her.

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