I never lived too far from home. Madison to Cedarburg-that was the extent. And even then, when I grew up, it didn’t take me too long to find my way back, ending up four houses from the one I grew up in. Our daughters would walk down the street to Grandpa and Grandma’s. Get their non-organic Kraft macaroni and cheese intake for the week. I’d catch up for a few minutes with Mom. And while I vowed to never have a house full of Hostess twinkles and zingers available like we did growing up, I never minded when my three girls went to Grandma’s sweets drawer and had a few moments of what it was like with a little bit more freedom….of playing in the sun ’til lemonade time. Days measured by the moonrise, and as many cookies as you wanted as long as you ate your dinner first. Those moments, I’ll admit, all sort of blended into one big moment of me watching my mom being a grandma while I was learning how to be a mom.
A few years ago, after my mom died, we sold the house that was down the street from theirs. Then sold theirs. As I was packing, I carefully tucked this note away to scotch tape up in my new house in a little corner that I’d glance at each day. It’s just a simple note. Next to a photo of my mom. Written by her one day when she decided to stop over. “Came in to say hi.” I wasn’t there. So she left that note. I didn’t think much of it as the time. But I kept it. It’s the last note I have of hers.
I’d never want my daughters to live near me in exchange for the adventures they are having. Never. Home is where the heart is, I know this, and the hearts of moms and daughters are always together, no matter. And there are times I wonder what things would have been like had I not saved many of my adventures till now. But I will say this…I was so, so blessed to have those run of the mill, every day, non-memorable moments that blended into one…with my mom. She was a great mom. She was my loyal friend. And that note that she left? Reminds me of one of the most valued treasures I once had in this lifetime and no longer do..the simple yet profound possibility of “came in to say hi.”