On Those Not-So-Perfect Moments That Were Totally Perfect
My wise and wonderful friend, Lisa Dingle, of the Creative Group at Bedlam Farm, gave me some sage advice. She is good at that sage stuff, and a lot of other stuff, too, like writing an amazing blog (justponderin.com) and taking wonderful photos. I told Lisa that I am in a huge funk after my mother’s death, missing her terribly, and that I’ve been worried about my ability to write. I feel artistically frozen, stuck- even musically. I mean, my muse is gone….but then again, she’s not, really. Lisa encouraged me to kick fear to the curb (there she goes with that sage stuff again), and think about a short story with Mom that wasn’t perfect…something that was beautifully real- and boy, did Mom and I have our real moments over the years. Lisa said to think of it as a celebration post. I really like that idea, and so, let’s celebrate…
As long as I can remember, my mother has known with complete certainty that she would win the Publisher’s Clearing House grand prize. If she just kept filling out and sending in the forms- making sure to order magazines and gifts, because that would increase her chances, of course- she was bound to have that knock on the door, with the balloons, the giant novelty check, the cameras, the excitement…it would all be hers.
Now, Mom never had two nickels to rub together when I was growing up, but she found a way to pay for postage, all the magazines, and- when she could no longer go out to shop, all of her Christmas and Birthday shopping- through Publisher’s Clearing House. Even her crazy old clock that made me nuts because it never told the correct time and chimed an hour off of the actual time came from PCH. She would scour the catalogue, and then soon after, I would receive the call, “Neese, I need you to come by and check the porch. I’m expecting a package, and I don’t want it to disappear.” This would begin the vigil of me driving by day after day as soon as I could after work to scout out said package.
Invariably, that package would contain something special to be stored away for a Christmas or Birthday gift, as Mom was the absolute best and most considerate gift giver. She used to shop at garage sales for many of the gifts, but when her mobility went south, her dear old friend, PCH- at least since the early 1970s- was there to help her with her shopping fix. No matter how many times I tried to tell her it was all a big scam, she faithfully sent in her prize form. Month after month, year after year, after year. I even found PCH paperwork as I was going through her papers yesterday. And I smiled. And then I laughed. And it felt so good.