Dear Mother (in purple crayon)

I almost tossed it away – it looked so insignificant, written with a purple crayon, personalized with my favorite drawings: a tree on the front and a swing set on the back. But evidently it wasn’t insignificant to her, as she had written on the back, “Had been away over the weekend when Kathy made this,” then tucked it away in the cedar chest, along with Valentines, newspaper clippings, and report cards.




I’m wondering where she went that weekend, as I don’t remember my mother ever being away from home!

She often baked macaroni and cheese – used those big chunks of colby. Homemade bread.  Sunbeam Rolls. Beef Roasts with potatoes. Warm custard when I was sick.

She laundered my clothes.

She tucked me in at night with hugs.

Held me and sang soft sweet songs like “Go Tell Aunt Tabby”and “Bye Baby Bunting,”

I knew her unconditional love.

It’s no wonder I missed her, wherever she had gone that weekend.




And it’s no wonder I miss her now.

I wish it was just for the weekend, but now it’s been six long years. I miss the macaroni and cheese, her soft hugs, the sound of her voice, and a thousand other things.

Since that note to my mother, so long ago, I’ve changed the spelling of my first name, and I always use a blue, medium point pen instead of a crayon. I never draw trees on my notes or letters now, and I prefer writing on lined paper. But I might just write another purple crayon message on white typing paper, fold it, and on the front, write: “To Mother.” The message will be simple. Only a few words will change:

Dear Mama,

I will be glad to see you again. I am lonesome for you.



Then I’ll tuck it in the same cedar chest and hope maybe she’ll receive it up in heaven.