As we arrived in Kamloops for our recent visit, my mother met us outside on the deck. The vision of her leaning on the railing while we piled out of the truck is one I will never forget. Not because the it was outstanding or unusual, but because it's the same visual we have received for the last 10 years or so every time we arrive. My mother in her seafoam green sweater. It has long since lost its $1.99 Value Village price tag and the two tiny staple holes have become stretched into openings large enough to slip an arm through. And each time we see it, it has another hole or two. I suppose if it were left long enough, it would eventually begin to look like it was made of lace. The brown splotches of hair dye make it look like she recently rolled in doggy doo. (I am still wondering how brown hair dye got on her sweater, when all of her hair shades have ranged from fluorescent orange to dark burgundy.)
About two or three years ago I went shopping with her to get a replacement sweater. It was a beautiful shade of red. It fit her perfectly. It had no stains. It had no rips. Thus it was too "good" to wear around the house, and it still hangs practically brand new in her closet.
As we were saying goodbye, I spied the well-loved seafoam sweater hanging on the back of the door. It was only about 12 inches from the utensil drawer which holds the kitchen shears. Before Mom could finish the routine instructions of "Drive safe. Watch for animals." I had the scissors in my right hand and the sweater in my left. And I lost control. I began stabbing and hacking and chopping like a mad woman on acid. I calmly replaced the scissors in the drawer, dropped the remaining seafoam shreds on the floor, and turned and walked out the door.
She'd better be leaning on the railing in a red sweater the next time I see her.