“My mother is missing!”
I’m turning in circles.
Bill opens the door from his studio and asks why I’m screaming.
When I tell him “My Mother is Missing!” he says, “Well, I think she will be OK.”
I’m imagining I tell someone I don’t know, that “My mother is missing!”
“Oh my God, your mother is missing?” they might say.
“It’s not so bad, she’s dead already,” I would answer.
I’ve just noticed that the designer box with Mom’s ashes is not on the glass table in my hall where she has been sitting for a year and a half.
The look on my face is like the painting of ‘The Scream.’
I have a suspicion.
The lady who cleans my house every two weeks doesn’t know that my mother is in that box. I haven’t told her. She doesn’t speak my language. How would I explain that my dead mother is in this box? I have puzzled over this as I have watched Isabel pile ‘do-dads’ and ‘what-nots’ on top of Mother.
A few times I have tapped the box in front of Isabel, made the cutting-the-throat sign with my finger and said, “Momma!”
Isabel gets a wild and puzzled look on her face and quickly leaves the room.
Where can Mother be?
I look in my Art room. I look in my bedroom. I check the closets. I check all the shelves in my house. Where could my Mother be?
Oh my! Isabel wouldn’t have tossed my mother out?
Last week she cut back the plants on my patio. And sometimes she breaks my vases but she always cleans up all the glass and never says a word. She likes things neat.
What might she do with a bag of ‘dirt’ in a box?
Now, I really tear the house apart.
“Mother! Mother where are you? Dear Saint Anthony, please come around. I’ve lost my Mother and she can’t be found!”
Saint Anthony always helps me find my glasses and he’s working for me now because..I find Mother.
She’s in my grandkid’s closet, way back toward the closet wall with piles of kid stuff on top of her.
I am so happy. I am so relieved.
I remove the piles of papers and strings and plastic pieces of toys off the top of her pretty box. Then, I carry Mom carefully to the glass table in the hall where I put her back in her resting place.
I feel so much better; but a little worried. How will I keep Mom here? If I open the box and show Isabel the contents while I thump my heart and cry, “Mother! Madre!! She’s muerta!” will Isabel ever come back to clean my house? I don’t know how she will react to knowing that she has been man-handling a dead woman all this time.
I decide we will just let it go and pretend that I like this box, please don’t touch it and I want it to stay here on the glass table. Period.
I feel much better with my Mother in the house. I feel she is laughing now about her disappearance and happy box return.
Isn’t it great that the dead can be both Here.. and There? It’s like Magic.