A book held in her hands as she read "Just one more story?" before tucking me in.
A sharp slap across my mouth because I'd said, "Shut up!"
Endless loaves of bread and dozens of cookies baked from scratch because she loved her children.
The smell of cigarettes.
A dictionary on her lap as she checked the spelling on a word for Scrabble.
Her hands gently holding my head over the toilet as I threw up.
A crochet hook flying through the air making warm afghans for her grandchildren.
Teaching my nephews how to catch crawdads in the crick.
A cool hand on my fevered forehead.
Veins that bulged as she stirred a huge pot of her famous spaghetti sauce with a large wooden spoon.
Arms and hands flailing through the air as she told a funny story.
Watching her carefully style her hair to cover one ear because she only had one earring on. (She'd lost the other one but because she loved the earrings, she'd style her hair to hide the earring-less ear so no one would know.)
Teaching her grand kids how to fly a kite.
Houseplants that were lovingly watered and pruned and grew to enormous proportions.
Interesting rocks and twisted sticks collected and arranged on a table in her apartment.
Drooling as she mounded hot chocolate pudding over a scoop of creamy vanilla ice-cream.
Weeping inside as I watched her hands curl up and harden with arthritis-no longer able to cook or crochet or re-pot a beloved plant.
All these things I see..... because of a spoon.
My brother sent me a gift yesterday that is yanking on my heart. He had a ring made for me from one of her spoons and it arrived yesterday. I recognized the pattern on the ring the instant I opened the box. "It's one of mom's spoons!"
As the minutes tick by, so do the memories.
Dug up from where I'd neatly tucked them deep in my heart. Dug up by a spoon.