Thoughts on home.
On my window sill, over my kitchen sink, are two hobnail glass vases. I don’t think I would have selected them for purchase, but there they are. One is gold, five inches high, and sits on three legs. The other is blue, five inches wide, with handles on either side. These were my mother’s. I recall that my brother gave her one and my sister gave her the other, all around the year before I started first grade. I believe they were Mother’s Day gifts.
My mother and I would pick pansies or petunias to put in the vases. Sometimes, we would set a rose to float in a vase. She would show me how to pick the different flowers and carefully set them in the water, one by one. When she arranged flowers in larger vases, my mother would set aside the broken stems so I could arrange my own floral designs. Depending on the length of the stems, I selected either the tall or the wide vase.
Over most of my life, I watched the two vases move around on the shelves on either side of my mother’s kitchen sink. They remained within my line of vision while washing dishes or craning to look at new arrivals at the bird feeder. They stood still as I estimated snow fall or admired icicles or observed the back gardens. They were removed to make way for holiday decorations, but always returned once the decorations were put away.
These vases witnessed my birthday cakes and family gatherings. They listened as I picked my parents’ brains about homework writing assignments. They watched me show off my medals and trophies. They greeted me when I barged into my parents’ kitchen after weeks abroad. They witnessed my father’s polenta parties and my tears at my father’s death. They watched me take care of my elderly mother and stood strong when she died.
Triggering memories of good times and people I loved, the vases sit on my kitchen window sill now, bearing witness to my final chapters.
TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb
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