I saw them as I entered the local floral shop- screaming spring in colors of yellow, pink and white. It was as if Mary Poppins herself had descended the skies with her black umbrella in complete optimism. I had just come from Stonehenge where Grams had finally agreed to let me take down the Christmas tree. While it was nice to have her room clean again, it did leave the room bare and rather sad.
Of course I had to have a bundle of tulips for Grams. Grams had gone downhill quickly since Thanksgiving. Some days she didn't even know my name. This was heartbreaking for me. Grams and I had always been close.
As I headed to self checkout, I became lost in a memory
The rain gushed from the storm clouds pelting my track gear and the wind howled. Competition however continued. Before my next attempt at the Javelin, I glanced over to Grams' white car. She stood next to it with her wide umbrella and blue raincoat. I will never forget how pretty she looked that day or how grateful I was she came to watch me compete.
My dad had been on "another business trip" and it had only been a year since we lost mom. Having Grams there softened the blow of an all too often absentee father and assuaged the reality that my mom was not coming back. This my first track season without my mom there to cheer for me. I had placed first last year at this meet and my mom was there in her full fan gear complete with the team's shirt and "Ang's mom" printed on the back. How I missed her."
Suddenly, I felt a tap from behind. The checker asked if I needed some help and pointed at the machine.
I mumbled "so sorry, I was loft in a memory."
I pressed the tulips close to my nose as I ran to the car. Hard to believe I was carrying tulips and it was forty degrees outside.
As I headed into Stonehenge Patrick greeted me,
"She's been asking for you."
"Oh good, she was having a good day."
I knocked lightly on Grams' door before entering.
"I have surprise for you," I said.
Her eyes matched the clear blue sky outside and her smile quickly warmed me from the bitter cold.
"Tulips already? It's getting close isn't it Angela."
"Spring?" I asked.
Grams didn't respond.
I placed the tulips in a vase next to Grams' bed. Her eyes seemed heavy with sleep so I tucked the covers around her just like she used to do for me.
I pulled her Remembrances from shelf and leafed through the pages
Flipping through the pages, a sticky note next to a photo caught my attention. It was my mother's handwriting.
It read, "she looks so much like Angela."
Under the photo was written, my mother Marie Smith Kimball.
I had her eyes. My dad had always called them chunks of chocolate. Every now and then he would remark, "Your eyes could stare right through me Angela, just like Grandma Kimball's used to do."
I looked up and was surprised to see Paul standing there and Grams asleep.
I kissed Grams on the feathers and greeted Paul with a hug.
On our way out, we nodded good bye to Patrick.
"I didn't think you would be home today."
"I'm sorry, would you like me to leave?" he responded.
I gave him a playful slug.
"Come on, I have a surprise for you."