Karma finds her similarities with her mother an annoyance until she needs it most.
|“Mum, you can’t wear flip flops over your socks,” Karma and her mother both exhaled unintended moans of exasperation. |
The sound an annoying reminder to Karma that no matter how much she resented it the universe had connected her to this irritating woman. At the same time her mother Cherry was reminded that she had in fact created this dissatisfied girl in front of her.
It had all started so well Cherry lamented to herself as she sat back down at the kitchen table remembering her baby girl with butterfly clips in her shining braided hair and smiling round face.
“You were such an angel of a child,” she whispered wistfully.
“O mum come on.” Karma adjusted her short black hair behind her ears in an effort to calm both her hair unfamiliar with this short length and her mind. Her mother had taken off her flip flops and seeing a good pair of shoes by the door Karma fitted them to her mother’s feet.
“You are ready to go.” Karma announced triumphantly. Her mother looked to her with tired eyes.
“You are a good girl.” Her mother stated simply as she stood and followed her daughter out the back door, down the cracked concrete path to the car parked on the stone filled driveway.
The summer breeze hit them both running comforting invisible finger strokes over their faces causing them to smile almost in unition. The moment passed quickly. Remembering the back door was still unlocked Karma gave her mother a withered look, motioned her to get in the passenger seat as she ran back to lock the door. On her return she thought it best to stop speaking rather than complain to Cherry any more.
As they continued their journey in silence Cherry unconsciously let her shoulders relax. The berating she had expected did not come. She couldn’t remember where they were going but there was something familiar about the field of daisies they passed.
As they continued she saw a young family enjoying a picnic lunch in the sunshine. Cherry felt something stir in her heart and memories beginning to form but they passed much like the scenery. Glimpses only, no real detail.
They slowed as they approached a concrete block fence. An ornate wrought iron gate was open at the driveway and they made their way in and to the large almost empty parking area where they stopped. Still silent they exited the car by a large tree.
“Humming bird feeder,” Cherry exclaimed as they passed a small house shaped bird feeder attached to the large tree’s aged trunk.
“You always say that.” Karma huffed. Then disappointed with herself from breaking her silence she looked to her mother, hoping she hadn’t heard.
Cherry continued by her daughter’s side. She wasn’t sure where they were going but the place was familiar and she didn’t need to be lead.
When they arrived at their destination the stillness was disturbed only by the gentle touch of the breeze, the caress of the sun on their bare arms, the trickle of sounds as children played somewhere far off, a dog barked.
The words newly engraved on the large slab of granite looked to have been there forever. The grass barely unfurled from the earth below their feet told a different story. Along the left hand side and behind many more stones stood tall with their enduring messages.
Karma read aloud, “Here lies Joe Noble. Loving husband to Cherry and father to Joshua, Summer and Karma” She didn’t bother to read the date but after some silence realized her hand was in Cherry’s hand. The warmth from her mother's hand was strong and reassuring. As the touch of the wind caused a chill on her face she realized it was wet with tears.
She turned to Cherry, she too was weeping. They embraced and for a moment Cherry felt the wounded heart of her angel child, Karma felt the warmth and security of her mother’s arms.
The moment was not like the others in this journey. This moment stayed and as they headed back home they talked about all sorts of things they used to do and what Karma was doing now.
Cherry needed reminding of what they were talking about now and again. She also revived old memories that had almost faded from Karma’s mind with her reminiscing. They laughed almost in unition, the strangeness of it made them laugh again.