In a day or two I'll look at the messages for a second time, the little notes my mother wrote six years ago, attached to Christmas ornaments that she knew I would inherit when she died. "Be very careful" she says. "HE DOESN'T QUITE FIT DON'T FORCE DOWN HE"LL BREAK AND YOU WILL CRY."
My mother died in April, and the ornaments were shipped a few months later. When I first read these words a couple of weeks ago it was magic. Like a time machine was switched on. I was instantly transported to my 5-year-old self, my mother warning me to watch what I was doing. Ha! My mother telling me to knock it off, even now! I love it. But why would she think I wouldn't be careful? I'm, like, a million years old now and ostensibly very grown up. Careful.
Today, stuck at home because of an ice storm, I scanned photographs from my parents' house. Wow. Who was that little person in the pictures? The little girl happily tackling the surly boys in the family, oblivious to the not-fun-ness of the situation.
The cat strangler.
Okay. Mom, when I take the ornaments off the tree (which I hate doing and always postpone) I will be very careful. Promise.