Three trips later, and I’m back here with you. I thought I could squeeze in a post last week, but reality convinced me otherwise…but not until the last minute.
In truth, I knew I had these three trips for a while: personal, work, then personal again. And because of so many days out of my usual routine, I debated over whether to take the extra vacation day off or to let my visiting mom hang out with my brother while I did “work”. What finally helped me make my decision was a random piece of advice embarrassingly gleaned from a women’s magazine article on self-help books. The advice: if you are having trouble making a decision, use the 10-10-10 rule – if I make this decision, how will I feel 10 minutes from now? 10 months from now? 10 years from now?
Knowing that 10 years from now, I’d be glad I spent the day with my mom made the decision easy. So instead of sitting at my desk, I spent last Thursday at Wave Hill, a beautiful garden I knew she would enjoy. I spent the afternoon with my mom and brother, instagramming way too many photos of stunning flowers (and so many cactus!) and quizzing my mom on her floral knowledge. It was perfect.
While together, she surprised me with a belated Easter gift that had obviously been too precious to mail. It was one pair of tiny diamond earrings of two that she had recently re-made for my sister and me. Two of the diamonds were dubiously and naively bought from a coworker’s brother when my mom was in her early twenties, and the other two were a nearly identical set bought for her a few years later by my dad’s mother while on vacation in Vegas. I’m not sure which set (or whether a mix) of the two original sets I have, which makes them a little more mysterious.
Before my mom came up for a visit, I was thinking of the million things I wanted to do with her while she was here, mostly all the things I needed to ask her advice on in person (How do I repair this pair of pants? How would you arrange this furniture? Can you remind me again how to quilt? And how do I gain closure on a recent heartbreaking experience?). But while all of those were questions to be asked, there’s never enough time to get all of the answers. Time always runs out, and I have siblings I have to share her with.
But just like these earrings that were too priceless to mail, the time spent face to face is truly irreplaceable, especially those rare moments of silence that you just can’t share over the phone. The best time is not always the time spent talking but the time spent sharing the same air, seeing the same surroundings and hearing the same distant sounds.
In fact, like any of the beautiful things that my mom has passed on to me or that we’ve collected together, even in their perceived silence, they are speaking so loudly and clearly to me.
It turns out I’m not the only one wearing something from my mom. The Of A Kind ladies strike again and shared these spot-on stories by Leanne Shapton on women who wear things from their mothers. View it on NYTimes.com.