For all the things

For the mornings you sat outside and watched the sunrise

 

For infusing my childhood with the scents of the ancient:

              Communion wine, candle wax, polish, and myrrh

 

For taking me to the pool in the evenings and letting me float

 

For your turbans and polyester blouses, the tiny holes left by cigarette ash

 

For popcorn kernels in your bedsheets

 

For My Judy

 

For giving the doctor who delivered me a Virginia Ham in exchange for my birth

 

For not saying a word when I gave the president of the pulp mill a piece of my mind even though I was seven or eight

 

For being the only woman in your medical school class

 

For your 1980s computer watch strung with artisanal beads

 

For picking me up from school the day I started my period, for serving Neapolitan ice cream and chamomile in your grandmother’s tea cups

 

For all the times you drove and squeezed the steering wheel and whispered your only cuss word, “Oh, shit”

 

For forgetting the Holly Ball but remembering the pizza afterward

 

For classical radio playing in your bathroom 24/7

 

For letting me wear your rattlesnake earrings when I faced a difficult task

 

For stuffing my Christmas stocking with Capital Hotel paper hand towels

 

For Crystal Lite, Diet Coke, and Tic Tacs

 

For angel food cake with strawberry icing and ALL the decorations

 

For framing our artwork

 

For your scarves and hats and pen necklaces

 

For insisting the nurse save Dennis’s mustache in ICU

 

For eating popcorn during my wedding

 

For walking the trail to find your people in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 

For your success as a pediatric radiologist and professor and for not knowing how to pump gas

 

For your Blue Fish dresses, for strangers thinking you’re “some kind of artist”

 

For not teaching me how to cook

 

For your ankles

 

For Grande Decaf Americanos with two Sweet n’ Lows

 

For bringing me along to visit those who were sick and homebound

 

For pulling me out of school to experience the Feast of All Souls

 

For your hands, your laughter, your collection of free samples

 

For your perfection at needlepoint and your imperfection at knitting

 

For our walks through the neighborhood and chanting OM past the mean dogs

 

For the meat tenderizer on jellyfish stings

 

For the wild violets in the forest behind your home

 

For the beach and the seashells and all the waves

 

4 thoughts on “For all the things

  1. Thank you for remembering so many good things. You have a great gift with words. This is beautiful beyond words. I wish your dad and I could tell you how much we love you . Love, Mom

    Liked by 2 people

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