For Just a Second

Slight stoop? Check.

Permed white hair? Check.

Dressed just a tad formally for grocery shopping? Check.

My subconscious completes a checklist I didn’t know she had and reaches her conclusion: It’s Mom. 

Of course it’s not my mother. Mom’s been dead for more than two years. And if she were still alive, she wouldn’t be in a Gilbert grocery-store parking lot on her own. But the old woman walking towards me triggers that recognition reaction. For just a second.

I stop breathing. For just a second.

I consider whether to act. For just a second.

Can I tell you something?

She doesn’t look alarmed, and so I tell her what just happened. I don’t cry. Not quite. And she gets it, better than I do, really.

I’m glad I could make your day.

Yes.

Because Mom was here. For just a second.

 

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2 Responses to For Just a Second

  1. Alison Uhrbach says:

    Ahh, you didn’t cry, but I did. Because that’s what I do – and because I’ve had that experience.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Alison – Well, it was a close thing, even for me. And now that Mom’s been dead for more than 2 years (I almost wrote – “gone for 2 years” but that’s kinda the point – not gone, in one sense), it was a fine experience. The early ones were more akin to distressing.

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