My parents live in another state so I call each morning just to check in and say hello.
We usually chat about what we have planned for the day, what we did the day before and share any important family updates.
Yesterday my dad mentioned that he had been to the grocery store, came home and when putting away the food he bought decided to clean out his refrigerator. He joked that he found some things from years ago tucked in the back where they’d been forgotten.
I laughed and said, “Yeah-I did that sometime last summer.”
And then my heart froze as I remembered another fridge I cleaned out three years ago.
I went on to say, “I threw out all the old stuff except what I took out of Dom’s fridge when we cleaned his apartment.”
And then the tears broke loose.
I don’t know if it was Mother’s Day “hangover” or something else.
The full weight of the FACT that my son will never share a meal with me again, that the jars of food I saved still had his fingerprints on them, and that it is oh, so, so WRONG I had to clean out his apartment to begin with just fell on top of me and crushed my ability to stop the tears.
Papa asked me what was going through my head.
I told him I was thinking no mother should ever be saving old jars of pickles and jelly as some kind of keepsake of her child. That this is a terrible burden and that even three years later it is just as heavy-although I am better able to carry it.
I am still surprised sometimes by what opens the floodgates.
I won’t be tossing those jars anytime soon.