It is Monday now, but only for now. As a matter of fact, give it a moment and the time will quickly turn into something else. And this is true. Time is always moving. The days and nights are always changing. And so are we.
Soon enough, our side of the world will begin to cool and frost will cover the grass. Soon enough, the streets of New York City will decorate itself with holiday spirit—and to us who’ve survived the pandemic; we hope this year will be better than the last.
I am thinking about my first season in the workplace. I was still me, but I was much younger of course, which means I was quicker to heal and faster at my pace. I was young and dressed in a suit and tie. I had a briefcase and a pocketful of dreams.
I can remember the seasonal bliss. I remember the snow days in a coffee shop with music playing from singers like Ella Fitzgerald. Ahh Ella, she was a tortured soul but yet, she had pipes that sung and hit the spot. I can remember sitting by a window that faced Broadway. I remember sipping coffee from an oversized mug. I was watching a business woman in a gray suit with a skirt option and red heels.
Large snowflakes were drizzling down and one of her hands covered a wide-brimmed hat to keep it from flying in the wind. I remember the look on her face with such intensity. I thought to myself and wondered if this is what the adult world really looks like. Or, if this is only me, stuck with a skewed or commercialized version of what life is supposed to be.
My viewpoint is different now. Or if not different—it is safe to say that I have matured or better yet, it is safer to say that I have become more comfortable in the pocket. I have undergone the ups and downs and the highs and the lows. I am no longer surprised that life is always evolving. I am not new to the idea that into each life, a little rain must fall. Then again, I am not jaded by any means. I know there is hope for us all. I know that opportunity finds its way, which means be ready, because sometimes the chances to fly will only come so often.
I often think about this. I think about my weekly visit to this coffee shop. I would write a card and send this to my Mother who was living in Florida at the time. I would tell her what I saw. I would tell my Mother about my days or my weeks. I would tell her what my hopes were. I would write this down on a card and send it off with a postage stamp.
I never thought much about the cards themselves. I supposed I had forgotten all about them once the envelope was closed and the card was dropped in the mail. . .
I remember the day when I had to go into the place where my Mother stayed and clear out her things. I can tell you this without any uncertainty—the spirit of a person is always there. I could see this with the way she left her things. I could feel her there (You know?). I could see the proof of this when I saw Mom’s chair and her little coffee table that was next to it. Her address book was still there. Everything was exactly as she had left it before she ever exited her place for the last time.
I wanted to be sure to gather all of Mom’s things. I wanted to be sure to take all of the important keepsakes—and that’s when I found them. That’s when I found the cards I sent. She kept them all.
Of course, I began to read through them. I remembered them. I laughed at myself because I was so unforgivably young and unaware. And then I wept. I sat on the floor near Mom’s chair, sifting through her belongings as if each piece was a piece of her.
And I cried.
“She kept them all.”
I cried because I knew these greeting cars were how Mom kept herself busy when she felt too alone or sick. I wept because life is eventual and inevitable, but more, I wept because no matter how old I was—a piece of me will always be that boy who fell or caught a fever and Mom was the one who nursed me back to health.
I knew that a piece of Mom was gone; and I say only a piece, which is her body. But it was here that I realized something so pure and comforting; and although this was painful, I realized there is nothing so strong as a Mother’s love. If ever there was a time when I was sick or afraid; or if ever there was a time when I was in need—I knew that if ever there was a way to be helpful, my Mom would push through.
The nights are cooler now. The trees will be changing color soon and as for New York City—well, I know she will be dressed for the season. And I know this will happen soon enough.
The old coffee shop is gone now. Plus, I work in a different neighborhood so our paths do not cross anymore. But ahh, Ella Fitzgerald. She is bound to be playing through a radio soon. I am sure I can find someplace and sit by a window. I can write a letter to heaven, which may or may not get there. But that’s okay. I know where my Mom keeps her keepsakes. And for now, that will have to be enough . . .
Times have certainly changed since my suit and tie days. Another birthday passed without a call from you. But that’s okay. I understand the phone lines don’t reach where you are. This is why I send these posts out to the universe—to reach wherever you are and let you know not to worry. Your baby boy is doing just fine.
It’s just another season, Mom. That’s all. The heat from summer is giving way. The leaves are about to change and the mountains by my home will be colorful again. Oh, and pumpkin spice coffee has made its seasonal appearance.
I put out another book, Mom. I hope you’ll read it.
You’re mentioned a few times.
I have to go to work now, Mom. But I’ll write again soon.