There were a few things I kept, her books, things I had given her, some clothes, and precious things, all absorbed into my life now. The grilled cheese maker sits on the kitchen counter, rarely used but always a smiling reminder of the joyous makeshift life of the young.
When she left home for university, we set her up with pots and pans, furniture, and all the things we could imagine would make her feel loved and keep her safe from the dangers of a new world, that I for one was not quite ready for. She on the other hand, was alive with certainty, perhaps anxious, but ready nonetheless to leap into the world of student parties, young men I would never meet, late nights and youthful longings.
Studying, getting a degree – all that could come later.
The grilled cheese maker is black, quite worn in places, and of a vintage that to leave it inadvertently plugged in after use, would most certainly mean that your home would be unceremoniously burnt to the ground. I don’t even know where it came from – not from me. It found its way after two graduations and many moves, into one of the what I will call, the Loosely packed bags and boxes that settled “temporarily” in our basement. This collection of items, along with tables, chairs, dressers, ironing boards and the like, was lovingly sorted and labelled by yours truly, in anticipation of the day when they would arise and find their rightful place in the world once again. They stayed for a number years, some say 5, perhaps it was more. “She will want it all some day I insisted”, and she herself confirmed this for the longest time. Perhaps in part it was true. Until the day when we moved, and there was no more time for conversation and no room for storage. “I don’t want any of it” she said. “No really, nothing except maybe this and that – and I can’t take those now”. And so I, the mother of the beloved, descended once more into the basement, this time to carefully, sometimes tearfully to say goodbye to each item, smiling at those that were familiar, wondering about those that were not.
There were a few things I kept, her books, things I had given her, some clothes and precious things, and a rather worn looking grilled cheese maker.