You are awesome and I love you.
I don’t have the words to define that statement to her. Let me tell you why. It all began Tuesday evening when I came home from work.
I opened the back door, like I do every night, but I immediately felt that something wasn’t right. The house was dead quiet, to begin with. Charlie did not greet me as he usually does. Well, he’s getting on in years and he doesn’t always hear me right away. The first thing I do every evening is glance across the kitchen at the little red light on my phone to see whether it is blinking, thus whether I’ve had a phone call while at work. I couldn’t see it. I started getting that creepy feeling you get when something just isn’t right. I turned on the kitchen light.
It took me a few moments of looking around, trying to fathom what was different – because something was different! Someone had been there while I was gone. And Charlie still hadn’t come.
And then I noticed a patch of that hideous orange paint that I painted over the first day I moved into my house nine years ago – everywhere except behind the stove. Why was the stove pulled out? And where was Charlie? And – wait a minute – my kitchen is really clean! The counters were clear, the floor spotless. Nothing was missing… And then I saw it - a big, red bow on the stove.
But it wasn’t my stove. Not my old broken, lightning-sizzled Kenmore. It was a brand new, shiny white GE stove, with a Christmas card from my Mom and a note on top from my sister saying, “Sorry, we wanted to surprise you, but the fittings aren’t right and the plumber has to come back. Charlie cried when I started to leave so I took him with me. Come for dinner.”
It turns out my mother had saved up her pennies for MONTHS to buy me a new stove for Christmas, and never said a word to me about it. And my sister helped Mom purchase it, and coordinated the delivery and the plumber and cleaned my kitchen without even a hint to me that anything was going on! And my nephew, bless him, hired the plumber to fix the fittings and get it hooked up.
I’m so excited to be able to cook again, to contribute to family dinners and just bake for the heck of it. Because I really do love to cook. I forgot how much I love to cook. And I don’t know how to tell my mother that she didn’t just replace my broken oven – she gave something back to me that I truly missed, something I value a great deal, something I do quite well and my ability to share it. She gave me the ability to participate and be a part of things again.
‘Thank you’ just doesn’t seem to say enough.
But really, Mom, thank you.
Mostly loony, generally harmless. Writer & professional smarty pants. Owned by an exasperated spaniel.