I was walking through Target today and I know what you are thinking. Michelle, it was a Sunday, why were you in Target. I blame my cat. She had no litter and she was crossing her little back legs and screaming, “mom, I GOT to go”. There is nothing worse then watching your cat do the pee-pee dance. I had no choice; I had to go to Target and get her litter.


So, as I was walking through the store, I stopped at all the cards. Because Mother’s Day is the next holiday, all the Mother’s Day cards were right in front. Normally I don’t look, but they had glitter on them and some of them even had songs attached to them. I was helpless.


I saw this one card and my first instinct was, “I should buy this card for my mother”. My mother has been dead for sixteen years, yet this card tossed that small fact out of my head.


The card was a plain white card with a little girl on it. The little girl had decorated her bedroom wall with all types of markers and non-washable crayons. The caption on the card said, “Thank you for allowing my creative side to grow”.


When I was little, I totally drew all over my walls. I used markers and crayons. I also made sure my posters would never come off the wall by gluing them to my bedroom walls.


My mother saw all that and she didn’t totally beat my ass. She did use the formal “Michelle Marie” but then just walked away shaking her head (and probably thinking how she could kill me and get away with it).


Years after my dad died, my mom really wanted to move out of the albatross of a house he left us in. But here was the problem. How were we going to cover up all my drawings and writings I made a la caveman style on the walls? There was no amount of paint that would cover up my creative endeavors. We had to use this hard, crusty plaster shit on the walls to cover everything up. But what my mom didn’t know was I left a little something in the bedroom closet.


I don’t know why I was so adamant about leaving my mark in my childhood home. I guess it was just the historian in me that wanted to leave something to prove that I once lived in that house. Although we had a lot of rough times; for me, that house held a lot of great memories as well. I spent sixteen years in that house. It meant a lot to me and I just wanted to leave something for the next little girl or boy who was to grow up in that house. In my own way, I wanted to leave the message of hope for the next kid who had that room. I needed to say to the next kid, I grew up here and some days are not so great, but it’s okay because I am still here. You can get through it as well.


So when I saw that card in Target, I wanted to get it for my mom. I wanted to send her that message so I could hear her laugh over my creative destruction of the room. I wanted to hear her giggle just one more time as we laughed over what we both have lived through.


But reality set back in. I can’t send that card to her because I don’t know her new address in Heaven. She never sent me a postcard with her new cloud number on it.


So, I just touched the card and smiled to myself.


She may not physically be with me; but in my mind, she will always be there laughing and shaking her head at me. I do dumb things, but my mom loved me anyhow. She accepted me and maybe that is why I have so much trouble accepting myself now. I don’t have her here to judge yet not judge me. My dumb-o- meter stick is missing and I am lost without it.