On Things That Mothers Keep

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Some day when my hair is silver grey and you are older you will find tiny baby teeth held back from the tooth fairy`s vast collection, random works of my kindergarten Picassos and every hand-drawn card my grandchildren ever sent me. When I am old and you are older and all this is meant to be emptied, divided up, sold off or given out you will find the cards I forgot to send and some that were sent to me when my heart was full and I was young and I made my mark on the world as a teacher, a Mom, or even just someone who cared. 
Oh you will shake your head, I know. And you will wonder how could she keep so much stuff ? Tsk, Tsk. And then when you are almost done cleaning you will find the drawer you never looked in filled to the brim with every article you ever wrote, every portrait you ever stood for, random report cards that sung your praises. Even one that did not. The high school graduation picture you hated, a program from that play you starred in back in grade four and one from a pageant you never won. A snapshot of that dress from the prom. A picture of your date. Every Mother`s Day card you ever mailed.
In an album in the back of my bedroom closet you will find a picture of me dancing when I was eight, an old CD, a broken toy you slept with every night until you turned 11. Here is the blanket I never had the chance to pass on to your daughter and the earrings I wore to your wedding. Here is the present I never got to give your son the Christmas I fell sick.
You will lift them, one by one, reading each as they spill across your lap, falling from your fingers faster than the tears that slip down your cheeks. 
You will miss me in ways you never thought, even long before I am gone, as I vanish slowly in pieces. You will cry, scream, write, rail, paint and live out your days. You will flourish, you will fly and come back to tidy up these fraying strings. 
Maybe I will lose my words and forget names and places.
Maybe I will spend my days playing Bingo.
Maybe I will slip away fast or slow, at hospital? At home?
My memory lost in tangles and plaque. 
Don`t forget I was real. 
I loved my babies as fiercely as you do yours now. 
It is true some day I may not recall your name, 
but I will never lose these things that mothers keep written on every fraction of their heart.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.