Sunday, 20 October 2013

My Mother's Light

For years my mother had a pair of sharp, metal scissors she kept in a porcelain plaque on the wall. The plaque had a cutesy saying on it, something like - These are my scissors in the rack. If you borrow them, put them back. That’s not the saying verbatim, but you get the idea.

I used to tease my mother about how possessive she was with those scissors. I mean, come on, they were just scissors, and my mother was not the kind of person who paid a great deal of attention to material possessions. But she really liked those scissors.

Guess who has those scissors now? After Mom died, it fell to me to be the last one to turn out the lights in her house. I almost left the scissors in the rack on the wall, but at the last minute I brought them home. I left the cutesy rack behind. The scissors are now kept in a wooden block for knives on my kitchen counter. At the bottom of the wooden block is a perfect slot to slide the scissors into. I use those scissors so often. Who would have guessed? And every time, hearing my mother’s voice in my head, I put them back.

My scissors have gone missing, and no one dares admit they were the last one to use them. At least twice a day, or so it seems, I reach for those damned scissors and they’re not there. And each time I get annoyed all over again. If my mother is watching from…wherever, I know she’s laughing at me.

I came across a few lines of a beautiful poem in Louise Penny’s newest mystery book, That's How The Light Gets In. I wish I could quote that poem to you, but I’m not one hundred percent sure who to attribute it to. Anyway, the poem talks about how although her mother is dead and buried elsewhere, as mine is, there are still lessons to be learned from her. The poet says it so elegantly that her words keep circling in my brain. I love the idea, that on some level, my mother is still with me.

So, the hunt is on. I’m not giving up until I find those scissors, and they’re back where they belong. Maybe I should offer a reward. I wonder what my mother would do.

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