Ma stood in the driveway waiting for her sister Hazel to come and pick her up to go shopping at Intercity. I sat in the orange plaid swivel rocker and watched her from the living room window.
The sky was clear and blue and the snow was crisp and clean. The snow banks were so high on either side of the driveway entrance that they dwarfed Ma’s already small frame. She was wearing her gray fake fur coat. I don’t know what animal it was imitating. Her purse was draped across her chest. She wasn’t wearing a hat.
While she was waiting, she traced the snow in an arc with the toe of her boot. Like a windshield wiper. Back and forth. Every now and then she would pause and look down the street for my Auntie Hazel’s car.
Her cheeks were blushed red from the cold air and her dark eyes were so bright and alive. I had to remind myself that she was well into her seventies.
I will always remember her that way. The image of her at the end of the driveway, with the winter sun shining its pure radiant light on that particular spot, in that particular solitary moment, and on that particular woman, just for me to see. To bear witness.
And in that sacred, intimate and private moment, my heart was overflowing with tenderness. And love.