Something both interesting and surprising happened to me last week. I was watching a cooking segment on a television show, and suddenly I had a deep longing to be sitting with my mother-in-law again. I was completely taken by surprise.
I miss both my mother and my mother-in-law, but usually its my mother I think about. My mother died the year before my mother-in-law, but the latter had left us many years earlier due to Alzheimer disease. So she's been absent from my life much longer than my own mother. I think that's why it was a surprise that she was the one I yearned for. I believe ti had to do with what I was watching because I had a flashback to her sitting at my kitchen counter talking to me as I made a lemon meringue pie. I don't know if that scene ever actually happened or not, but it was what came to my mind. She often stopped in during the day to sit and chat, sometimes while I worked in the kitchen, which I loved. In this particular moment of memory I could hear her laugh and imagine the conversation. And I missed her.
That memory so took me by surprise that I began to think about the other people who have been part of my life that are no longer with us. I thought about my grandmothers and remembered with fondness so many little things we did together, like crafts, baking, or shopping - small things but huge in my memories. I found myself longing for those strong women and wishing they were still in my life. Of course they will always be part of me, but how I could use them in person, for their wisdom, their love, and yes, their laughs. I can hear each of them in my mind. And the longing never ends.