I woke up this morning and I smelled french toast. I snuggled under my covers and felt the comfort of my own bed. Feeling happy that it was Saturday and dad was making french toast and mom was hopefully going to be making cinnamon rolls. I felt content. I could hear the boats out already on the lake and I couldn’t wait until I could dive into the water and just allow myself to be completely carefree deep down in the lake.
But…my husband was at work. All I could hear was my air purifier. I was not back home…I was here! I felt so sad. I wanted to be back at home with my family. Dad used to make french toast or pancakes and always made a little tiny dime size baby one for me slightly singed on the edges like I liked them. We always watched Saturday morning cartoons my brother and I together on the carpet in front of the TV. Back then friends of our parents or ours would stop by daily unannounced, and that was fine. No one knocked. They just came in and were incorporated into whatever our plans were for the day. When dad was off work he spent all day pulling us skiing behind the boat. Mom made amazing treats for us to eat as we ran through the house. We never got in trouble for getting the floor wet and more often than not were laying around in bathing suits with wet towels on the floor eating snacks. My brother and I shared a room when we were younger. Bunk beds. He was on the top and I was on the bottom. We always talked until we fell asleep. Mom always tucked us in. Our nana, my mom’s mom, lived across the lake from us. We were either at her house or she was at ours. Mom’s friends often came by with their children too. I was surrounded by women who loved me. I felt loved. I felt safe. I felt happy. I woke up each day excited for what it would bring. On Sunday’s we sat on the back pew with nana while our parents sang in the choir. Nana brought mints and always doodled drawings or played little games with us if we were getting fidgety. Then we went out for sunday lunch at one of the two restaurants our small town had just to get home and jump back in the water.
I saw on facebook this morning that some of my mother’s family had gone to Maine, to I believe lay my great uncle to rest. It reminded me of our trip to Maine when I was a little girl to see the family homestead. It reminded me of our trips to the North Carolina blue ridge mountains in the summers. I can remember the temperature of the water in Maine and the smell of the cabin North Carolina. Our family was perfect! Out of a book perfect. On paper and in real life perfect. Hide and seek, sprinklers, s’mores, campfires, fireflies, sandcastles, perfect. Afternoon trips to the beach riding the waves, perfect. Singing in the car, perfect. The family everyone wished they had, perfect.
Such sweet sweet little memories. Moments encapsulated in my mind that I can pull up and savor. A time where waking up and smelling pancakes meant everything. And that everything was innocence and joy and freedom and safety.
Until one day….It wasn’t anymore.