Been working on my memoir. By “been working,” I mean “basically started ten minutes ago.”
Here, a draft.
The exact moment my life changed forever, remains only as a worn-out projected film onto the uneven surface of my mind. Fuzzy forms, unclear dialogue, but the excitement of my mother remains clear enough to for my heart to ache and eyes to water.
The light from the kitchen window lit her unfathomably petite frame from behind; I always loved that window, because it looked into the neighbour’s house. The way the light would hit the sill, and how I could catch glimpses of their lives, it was a portal into another world from the safety of my own. The kitchen itself was beautiful, in its plain, modest way; the decor itself was nonexistent, but its beauty was found in the comfort and care that it represented. There, my mother would dutifully prepare meals for us, and I could watch her pour her heart and soul into one of the few ways she could openly show how much she loved us.
Perhaps she was wearing an apron, I really feel like she always had one. Was it frilly? It felt like it was frilly and white with pink accents. On anyone else, it would have looked absurd, especially when paired with her five layers of stockings, two shirts and the three sweaters she’d always wear. Being under 80 pounds, she always felt self-conscious about her delicate, bird like build and would try to create a more formidable silhouette by layering her clothing. She generally would fail.
I looked up at her. The Saturday afternoon sun filled the room, lighting up her delicate body and her strong, vibrant smile. “We are moving to Trail, to start our own restaurant!”, she leaned in, conspiratorially, as if saying it too loudly would cause her lifelong dream of owning a business to crack and break. Being eight years old at the time, I could not understand what the implications of that were, of having to know the timeline of this event, the logistics, the inception, the intinerary, and all of that serious, big-people stuff. All I could understand was, how beautiful my mommy looked, how utterly excited she was, and I couldn’t help but be wrapped up in her joy like I was getting one of her startlingly strong hugs. She was happy, and that’s all that really mattered in this world to me; I would go anywhere, do anything, be anyone, to make my mom smile the way this “Trail” place did.
It would be many years later, that I’d want to see her smile at me like that again.