I should just move on. What difference does it make what it looks like now? I haven't lived there for nearly 20 years, of course things will be different. None of them knew her and didn't care that each room held different memories and had different ways of making her happy. I just wanted to be inside again, to be nosy mostly, but to also just be near her again and remember her.
My hand must have hovered too close to the doorbell of my childhood house because the door opened. As I stepped through the door and looked in the floor to ceiling mirror that I always imagined was a passageway to another place, I saw the house I remembered shimmering under the house that had been changed since the day my mother left me.
As I called out to the newest owner, wondering how the door opened but now no one was near me, I saw my mother reflected in the mirror.
I thought it was just a memory since I was in our old house but then she hugged me. Immediately I began to cry because it had been 15 years since she was able to hug me and I missed that so much.
"Shhhh, it's ok. We don't have much time," she said as if seeing and hugging your long deceased mother and knowing it wasn't a dream happened to everyone every day.
"Look what they did to our house! Remember my bookshelf wall and all the hundreds of books I had? And my "quilting/sitting room?"
As I answered I felt that I must be dreaming since I was talking to her as if she had never left me and I was not questioning the impossibility of this being real. "Of course I remember, I thought it made the room seem cozy and I tried to read a lot of them. It seemed like millions when I had to go through them for the auction though!"
The wall that had once been a glorious escape for both of us and separated our family room from the quilting room had been torn down to make another bedroom.
Next we went to my old bedroom, that now had a huge walk-in closet where the door leading from my room to my mother's bedroom once was. I had spent hours between the doors imagining I was in an elevator going to my penthouse with my celebrity friends.
Suddenly we were in the attic. "Did you know I used to sneak up here and explore when you were at work? I liked to look at all my old school papers."
"Of course I did. I used to always say mothers always know everything but you didn't listen!"
Suddenly I remembered she said we didn't have much time and a flurry of questions came as I began to cry again. "Mom, why do I always dream of you here? Why did you have to go so soon? Did I do everything right? Are you proud of the woman I've become? Do you watch over your grandchildren?"
Again she soothed me and said, "I was allowed to be in physical form for 10 more minutes because you needed to know I am always with you. Things will change but you don't need material things like this old house to stay the same to remember me, or to feel my love for you. I love you but can't answer any more questions now."
As she kissed me I found myself on the front porch again, but this time an older woman was looking at me strangely as she held the door partly open.
"Hi. I lived here long ago, and just wanted to tell you this house has a lot of character and I hope you make many happy memories here like my family did."
As I walked away from the woman who was still staring at me like I was crazy, I noticed a quilted pillow on the porch swing and thought Mom would have liked that pillow.
© Kathleen G, 2019. All rights reserved.