Sunday, January 27, 2013

Monday Mimisms ~ A Story of Ghosts and Grilled Cheese


 I was standing at the stove late this morning, making a grilled cheese and mustard sandwich when the feeling came over me.
 It was her.   
"I wish I could talk to her today," I said to the frying pan as I set the white swirl bread plate down in front of me, the Made in England vintage set I use everyday and handed down to me from my grandmother.
All you have to do is turn around. 
 Who said that?  Since I'm hungry and a little dizzy, maybe it was the hypoglycemia talking. Or maybe it was...

I turned to face the patio doors in the kitchen, mindful of the remaining skate rink appearance of yesterday's brilliant white layer of ice on the deck. The sun was shining through the panes into my grilled cheese world, no ice had melted yet, and it was midday...long past the time I should have eaten something before now. Which is exactly  what she would have said to me...

"You don't eat enough to keep a bird alive," she'd scold, setting plates of her yummy delicacies made just for me on white white plates of love. The blue and white tablecloth full of messy Mimi crumbs I tried to catch and clean up or hide under the edge of the plate when she wasn't looking. Sipping a secret cup of coffee which held more milk than caffeine. "You can have a little coffee in your milk," she'd say, a phrase I still use sometimes when ordering my own, and one meant to fool a little girl into being a temporary adult once upon a Grandmother time.

 When I was a little girl she let me pretend to be a grownup.  
When I grew up I longed to be her little girl again. 

 I stared into my grownup kitchen, turning my back on the cheesy stove task, holding a black spatula in my right hand and wearing a pink nightgown and robe, still on, more evidence than ever that I desperately needed a snuggle day and someone to untangle my too-long-for-practicality-hair.  She was the best at getting out tangles.  The smell of melted butter, too-smoky oxygen filling my anxious heart and a strange play of misty light making sun shadows on the wall only intensified my need for a mother visit. I watched and tried to see her in the room of atmospheric anomalies, knowing full well in my practically tangled head that any apparition would be suspect at best. I needed to see her and a fluffy-robed girl missing her grandmother could easily see what she wanted to see.  But still, why couldn't she just appear? Would it be so difficult? I picked a spot on the wall of my memory and smiled at her, making sure she knew how much I missed her, blinking and straining, listening for her voice and knowing with every fiber of my being that she heard and knew and missed me too. 

 Time to eat. Grudgingly leaving my memories by the cold snowy window pane, I turned to find a knife, smiling as I remembered how she would diagonally cut the grilled cheese sandwich so beautifully for me, with the swift expertise only seasoned cooks demonstrate -  not to be overshadowed by the palpable joy on her face as she presented her puny birdseed granddaughter with a hot meal on crunchy bread, perfectly toasted on both sides. She sure knew how to melt my heart with her rich cream butter and dripping cheese. 
Crunch went the knife. And then I gasped. 


Because I swear to you that for a split second between Heaven and Earth I saw her hand on the spatula as she lovingly laid my food on the plate.
 Her plate. 


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11 comments:

Mark In Mayenne said...

What's the phrase? "Go and do thou likewise"?

Karen Jo said...

That's a lovely post. I don't think we ever get over missing our grandparents and parents.

the wild magnolia said...

very touching post.

i believe you saw her hand.

Mimi Lenox said...

Mark - If only I could cook.

Karen - No, we don't. And that's a good thing.

Magnolia - Thank you for reading...

Christine said...

I once saw my deceased, most beloved father-in-law walk toward me, cigar in hand, and say, "Hello, Dearie", just like he had done so many times when he was alive. Yes, your grandmother was there with you.

speedyrabbit said...

that was beautiful,your grandma was there but then she never really left you,xx Speedy's mum

Michelle said...

lovely <3

Akelamalu said...

I believe that our loved ones are always with us. x

Mimi Lenox said...

She never left (thanks Speedy)....I need to think of the extraordinary as ordinary then. Thanks for sharing your stories and thoughts!

Mimi Lenox said...

Always here. So true.
The extraordinary is really the ordinary, eh?
Thanks guys.

The Gal Herself said...

One of your best, Mimi! Delicious in so many ways. I hope that you are comforted thinking of the memories you're making with your beautiful boys.

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