Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It was just a knife

Twenty years ago, Christmas could have happened without me. On Friday, December 20, my mom had passed away - suddenly - while visiting my younger brother, in Arkansas. We laid her to rest, beside my dad, just 3 days before Christmas. 

We seldom get snow, but the morning of her funeral, we had the most beautiful snowfall. Had she been alive, she would have been in Arkansas and wouldn't have seen it. Knowing that she was now able to see our white wonderland didn't make me feel any better. 

My mom's house was in the country and my aunts were afraid that someone would now ransack her house. Because my brother and I both lived away, we had to go through  and clear out most of her things before we left, that weekend. Mom had no valuables - but it was all of sentimental value to my brother and me.

I gathered up most of the kitchen items to take back home with me. They were things that mom had used, over the years. I felt, as I held them in my hands, like I was touching a part of her. Her hands had held the old colander, the sifter, and the little paring knife with the wooden handle. Mom was now a part of my kitchen.

As the years have gone by, I've used that little knife over and over. No one else ever wanted to use it and would laugh at me, as I searched the knife drawer - looking for it. It was the knife I used to peel potatoes, cut up an onion or slice an apple. It was "mama's knife". It was as if I was holding onto her whenever I used that little knife.

A few days ago, as I was getting ready to bake my Christmas goodies, I opened the knife drawer to get Mama's knife......and it was no where to be found. I searched every drawer, but to no avail. There have been many people in and out of my house during these holidays, and I thought it might have gotten placed in another drawer. I hoped it had gotten placed in another drawer - but I was afraid it might have accidentally made its way into the trash.

I've searched, in vain, and Mama's little knife I can no longer find. Strange how small things make up such a part of our lives. It was just a knife to so many people, but to me.....it was a part of Mama.