This time last year, 2/12/09:
The boxes with the programs were emptied today. They have been under the bench in the entry since October when the programs were printed for your Memorial service. I glimpse at the boxes everyday when I walk past, always planning to move them or get rid of them. Until today something always stopped me, I didn’t feel ready.
Today your sisters needed boxes for the Valentines they would receive at their Valentine’s Day parties. Impulsively I said, “There are boxes under the bench but let me get them.”
Lindsay asked “Why?”
She didn’t understand why I insisted on getting the boxes. I told her the boxes held extra programs from the Memorial Service. I explained that we didn’t use them because the front picture was too dark.
Lindsay told me “I can get them.”
She quickly went to the entry and brought the box into the family room, trying so hard to impress me with her industriousness. She opened the box, looked at one of the programs and said, “You’re right the picture is too dark it doesn’t look like Jordan.”
She flipped through the program, reading it and asked, “What are ushers?”
I explained the function of ushers at funerals and memorial services. She then said, “That’s nice, his best friends were ushers.”
She then read the poem I wrote about “My boys” on the back of the program. The next question of course was, “Why aren’t Kendall and I in the poem?”
I said, “Oh honey, I wrote that one day when I was watching your brothers together.”
She said, “It’s a good poem, I like it. What should I do with all these programs?”
I said, “Let’s put them in a bag.”
She said, “Okay I’ll get it.”
She quickly got up and grabbed a black trash bag from under the sink. She was determined to do the job alone and resisted my attempts to help her. Her only comment during her task was, “Mom, I can do it.”
After she emptied out the programs, Lindsay looked at the empty box and said, “This box is perfect for Valentines. I’m going to decorate it and make it beautiful.”
For me, she already had.
Happy Valentines Day
With eternal love,
Poem on Back of Program
Mother to Son
Jordan is a poet
Merrick is poetry
Jordan has the words to captivate a nation
Merrick has the movement, the smile, the soul of honesty and love
There is magic in words and movement
Together they reveal the essence of life,
both poet and poetry,
spoken word and dance and song.
I can listen to and watch them forever
Jackie Moore (2002)
A few days ago I posted a query on Facebook asking, “What was your most memorable Valentine’s Day?” I kicked off the discussion by relaying the memory of a Valentine’s Day from my grad school days when my roommates and I went to a Bingo Hall with the mother of one of my roommates. It turned out to be an evening filled with laughter, girl talk and the hopes of winning the jackpot (not to be).
For the last few months I have been in search of a Mother’s Day card, that Jordan gave me when he was a junior or senior in high school. It holds special significance because it was handmade of construction paper with Jordan’s handprints on it. Jordan wrote the following on the card,
When I was in preschool, teachers seemed to think that putting handprints on a piece of paper or a paper plate and using it as a gift for any holiday was a great idea. Although I’m no longer in preschool and my handprints barely fit on the paper, I decided for Valentine’s Day I’d give you a gift that hearkened(sp) back to my younger days. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!
Jordan then signed the card, “Love, Your oldest little boy, JORDAN” with the J backwards in the same way he used to write his name as a kindergartner.
All the places I thought I’d stored the card turned up empty. I finally decided that the best way to find it was to stop worrying over and looking for it. If and when it was meant to be found, I would find it. Tonight as I polished the writing piece above, I searched for one of the programs from Jordan’s memorial service. I reached into the top drawer of our file cabinet and there on the side of the hanging files amongst other papers, was the card from Jordan. I’m sure I’ve checked this spot before but clearly not well enough. Tonight I pulled it out of the drawer, sat and looked at it, held my hand against Jordan’s handprint and cried. I found it just when I needed to find it. Now my most memorable Valentine’s Day, albeit a little early is the Valentine’s Day of 2010.