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It was like dried mud. The little flower jar that she was forming on her pottery wheel, just would not cooperate and her time was limited. She wanted with all of her heart to finish this before the time came. She glanced out the window at the flowers and thought about her mother. She remembered those days when they’d planted the garden together, on their knees and laughing.
The thoughts of gardening with her mother and this dried mud of a vase reminded her of the day they argued with nature. The two of them, determined to plant the flowers in that ground; regardless of nature’s timing. It wasn’t dried mud that day, no; it was more like swamp water in the garden.
They didn’t need any tools, but only their bare hands because it was so muddy. Together, they built that garden and the flowers grew beautifully; as did their relationship. That was almost ten years ago. She was only five then, now a young lady; trying with every bit of desire to retain those good memories.
She realized that the vase wouldn’t form, was drying up, because she just couldn’t concentrate on keeping it together. Quickly, she focused on completing this creation but she just wasn’t satisfied with it. She set it on the shelf to dry.
The sun was shining so beautifully outside, on this crisp summer morning; leading her to the garden, she picked a few of her mother’s favorite flowers. That was the reason she was making the vase, but unsatisfied with it, she grabbed one from the kitchen and placed the flowers inside. The phone rang and she heard her father talking to someone, he sounded frustrated and angry but she couldn’t hear his words. He talked so quietly. She knew that he was hiding this conversation from her.
Her dad came into the room and told her that they should go visit her mother earlier today than they usually do. The drive is two hours long to get there and they’d have to get moving. Deep in thought for most of the ride, she realized that they were almost there and she’d forgotten the flowers on the counter in the kitchen. She had nothing to bring to her mother and it hurt her inside. She always brought something; always wanting to see her mother’s bright eyes smiling, and this time she had nothing to bring.
Upon entering the room, her mother sat up and the look on her face was different than usual, brighter than any other time. She didn’t understand why her mother looked so happy, so content…almost as if she’d brought her the gift with the vase that she intended on bringing. Her mother said, “Honey, you are so beautiful. Seeing you here right now makes my heart smile. Today is the day, my dear daughter.” “Today is what day, mom? What are you talking about? Are you coming home?” she asked. “No, honey; but I am going home today.”
When her mother said those words, she knew what was meant. It’d been five years as her mother battled with this cancer, five years longer than anyone expected. She didn’t know how to feel, what to think or even how to respond. Her eyes began tearing up and her mother wiped away the tears. “Honey, I know you’ll miss me; but you can trust that I’ll remain with you all of your days. We share the same spirit and you know how to listen, don’t you? You’ve shown me that all of your life, sweetheart. You’ve always had a wise soul. Don’t be sad, you know where I’m going.”
A few hours later, as they all sat in the room together; it filled with a warm radiance and her mother breathed these words to them, one last time…she said, “I love you”.
Read Heather's conclusion of this powerful story on Tuesday's prompt... The Urn.
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