Today is my mom’s birthday. I went in this Hallmark store, great store, on I10 out of El Paso. I guess Mom would have been 66 today. I loved the store. Everything brought back memories—the smells, the colors, the displays, everything. It reminded me of when Mom took me to market with her to pick out things to stock those shelves with. I remembered helping her change the colored panels with the change of seasons. And I remembered helping wrap Christmas gifts. I will never forget how quickly and beautifully she could wrap a package or how perfectly she curled the strings on those balloons. And I remembered waiting behind the register with my mommy on a really big stool, waiting for the store manager to come in and take the afternoon shift so we could leave
Like I said, I loved the store. It was bringing everything back.
I walked down the aisles with tears in my eyes picking out gifts and cards, one of everything, and avoiding eye contact, until I realized I was doing that, and that at the rate I was going I would end up buying the whole store. So I decided to put everything back, except for one gift that was just too perfect for a friend. And a little key chain with a Celtic cross on it that I couldn’t resist.
The lady at the checkout stand was very pleasant, as a Hallmark store manager should be. I told her I really liked the store, especially some of the new things I’d never seen before. She started talking about how she had come out of retirement for this, and how much she loved working in the store. It was all I could do to keep from talking about Mom's stores and how I’ve always loved working in Hallmark stores, too, and how today was her birthday, but I could not go there. Every time I started thinking about what to say to her, I just knew I was going to lose it right there in the store. So instead I paid, and went out to the car and lost it.
I really miss Mom.
I don’t know. Sometimes you really get mad at somebody or tired of somebody, or you don’t feel like the relationship is everything it could be, and sometimes you just feel like you need a break from somebody for a while. And that’s probably true. But, I’ve had a break from mom now for a long while, and I’m really kind of ready to see her again.