Mum has Sprung

Last night Spring came to Blyth. It came with a crackle and a pop, as thunder and lightening ripped across the skies and struck unsuspecting trees, homes and passer-by. Rain licked at piles of weary snow with the ragged tongue of a starving monster. We stood clinging to our belongings loving that Spring was coming yet scared it might destroy us in the process.

Today, the after-effects lay in swollen lawn-ponds and jagged tree branches scattered on sidewalks. In the gardens, green shoots gingerly poke their heads above black winter blankets, wondering if it’s safe to come out yet.

I enter my parents’ home as the winter is melting away behind me leaving rivers of rushing springtime flooding the lawn and dripping off my shoes. I close the door, see Dad feeding Mum. She’s wrapped in many layers and her eyes are red and puffy.

Stubbornness courses through the veins of my heritage. Even when she’s unable to physically lift a spoon to her lips, Mum will often insist that no, she can do it, and one hardly has the heart to tell her No.

Today Mum has slept until 1 p.m. But she is determined to attend Coffee Break leaders’ meeting at 2. Dad doesn’t think it’s such a good idea. He opens the living room window; the sound of rushing rivers reaches Mum’s ears. She looks surprised.

 “Spring has sprung,” I tell her. “You slept so long it finally came!”

 She looks at me knowingly. “Really?”

I laugh.

 She closes her eyes. “I love that sound. The sound of water.”

 Awhile later I return to the living room. Mum is standing, arguing with herself. Dad is in the other room, pretending not to hear.

 “Mum? What’s wrong?”

 “Dad says I can’t go to coffee break leaders.”

 Dad’s voice: “I just don’t think it’s a good idea today.”

 She shakes her head. “I am fine!”

Takes my hand, leads me over to her abandoned blue arm chair. “Look.” She points. “I pushed that blanket out of the way. I stood up,” she makes the movement with her arms, “I looked at the rushing water, I looked at all of the Robins, and it was beautiful!

 Then she leans her head on my shoulder. Puts her arm around mine. “And so are you.”

 For a moment I cannot speak. I just swallow. Hard. Then, I walk over to Dad, recite what she just said, convince him she is well enough to go to coffee break leaders. 

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1 Comment

  1. Teneale said,

    April 2, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Thank you for sharing your most intimate moments with your family. Your descriptive moments have me picturing perfectly what is going on. When your heart breaks, I feel like I catch a small part of it way over here through your words. I have given it a kiss, and have sent it back to you. I hope you recieve it soon, and it reminds you that I love you and I’m praying for you.


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