Our house is filled with mementos from our families, loved ones now departed. We have furniture and art from both our parents. China and crystal abound in our dining room, filling two china closets and our built-in buffet. There is a desk built by Larry’s great-grandfather and a small rocker that my great-great-grandfather fashioned for his daughter so long ago.
But it was Mama’s sofa that claimed an extra special place in my heart. After my mother died in 2007, I had the arduous task of emptying out her condo, chock full of “stuff”. Once I had shared many of her lovely things with friends and family, I gathered what I had set aside for myself. There was a beautiful china closet, a marble side table, books, china and crystal, kitchen ware – and her pretty little sofa.
When my father had died in 1991, Mama began the hard path of rebuilding her life. She took in her aunt, moved into our neighborhood and treated herself to the sofa of her dreams, custom-made and quite a splurge. She enjoyed that sofa for many, many years and made it the center of her living room.
After my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, I began spending a lot of time with her in her condo, often times with both of us on her sofa. Mama would lie back on her pillow with her feet in my lap. I would read aloud, or we would listen quietly to NPR. Often, we would reminisce about our lives together, sharing many special memories.
I thought I could never, ever part with my mother’s sofa, despite its age and slightly dilapidated state. Our kitties napped on it and they had done some damage as well.
But then one day, I suddenly thought, “Let’s buy a new sofa”. Larry and I had just remodeled our only bathroom and I was on a tear, cleaning and freshening up the house. And, just like that, we did.
Our gardener of over 25 years (who knew my mother) has a large, extended family in Tijuana and some folks there now have Mama’s sofa. I hope it makes them as happy as it did our family.
Our kitties inspected the new sofa, once Daisy pronounced it suitable for napping.
They quickly settled in.
I’m settling in a bit more slowly, reminded that grieving is a journey of a thousand steps. We all move ahead at the pace our heart dictates. I don’t need your sofa any more, Mama. You are always, always with me.